16 July 2012

Anatomy of a Platelet Transfusion

Caleb went in this afternoon for a platelet transfusion.  The platelets have to be radiated (which takes 4 hours because it involves shipping the platelets back and forth to another hospital for the radiation) to "kill" any white blood cells.  Because his immune system is so weak, any foreign white blood cells would cause a huge problem.  We like platelet transfusions because they can be done in the doctor's office and only take 30 minutes to transfuse, once the preliminary stuff is done.

First, Caleb has to have an IV line put in.  Just for a reference point...he was stuck with needles three separate times today.  Once for a blood draw so they could see if he needed a transfusion, once for another test that was ordered after the first blood draw today (and which actually didn't work out and they ended up getting the blood for that test later in the day when we went back for the transfusion through the IV line), and once for the insertion of the IV line.

As you can see...the nurse that put in his IV had her own IV line just a few days ago for a procedure!  See her nice big bruise? ;)  Also, you can see that Caleb definitely needed a platelet transfusion.  There is blood on the floor, all over the pillow, and there is even a spot on his jeans.  There is no way for his blood to clot, so when the nurse poked him, the blood just kind of went everywhere!

This is the first time I have seen a platelet transfusion.  I didn't know that platelets were yellow!  Caleb said it feels really cold going in...but other than that, he doesn't notice much because he is playing on his Nintendo DSXL.

After the transfusion, we actually had to go to the lab to pick up a 24 hour collection container (don't ask...he doesn't want to talk about it), some oral antibiotics to clear up an out-of-control pimple/zit/acne something on his cheek (it is seriously 2" long and 1/2" across!!), and then he had to get a chest x-ray to make sure his lungs are good for the transplant.  We had a full day...and I'm glad we got to eat dinner together and have a great family home evening prepared by Darwin!

1 comment:

Lauren said...

Oooooh 24hrs... I've done about 15 of them in my life... I hear ya Caleb-- not fun... not fun AT ALL!