Going out after a bone marrow transplant (BMT)

This page from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) explains the guidelines for taking your child out of the hospital following a bone marrow transplant (BMT). The general rule is that your child should only leave the ward when they are in yellow precautions and have a neutrophil count above 0.5 with or without GCSF support.

Before you and your child leave the ward

  • Your child’s electrolytes must be stable not requiring intravenous supplements.
  • Your child should not need any doses of intravenous or oral medication while they are out for a walk.
  • Your child should not be due any investigations, such as X-rays or ultrasound scans.
  • You MUST have a Hickman safety pack, know how to use it and have had the safety talk
  • From April to October, you must apply sun cream (SPF 50+) to your child’s skin and they should wear a sunhat and sunglasses
  • Your child must stay away from crowds and contact with animals and birds
  • You must understand what your child can and cannot eat or drink when outside. You can take a bag of crisps and a carton or can of drink from the ward with you as a snack. Your child must not have Mr Whippy® style ice cream, cakes or unsealed drinks.
  • Avoid walking near areas where buildings are being built or pulled down.
  • Make sure that staff on the ward have your current contact phone number.

Places to avoid for walks

Due to risk of infection, you and your child should not go to:

  • The hospital shop and Lagoon restaurant.
  • Coram’s Fields – the children’s play area at the end of Lamb’s Conduit Street because there are a number of farm animals kept there. At weekends and school holidays, there is a play scheme run there so can have a large number of children in the grounds.
  • Shops such as the Brunswick Centre near to the hospital or Oxford Street and Regent Street further afield.
  • Launderettes.
  • Restaurants.
  • Public transport.
  • You should not visit other wards or clinical areas.

Places suggested for a walk

Even though there are a number of places you should avoid, there are still lots of options for places to go outside of the hospital:

  • Morgan Stanley Garden – This is on Level 2 (ground floor) on the Hospital School corridor, through Medical Illustration. Between 3pm and 4pm each day, the garden is only open to families with immune suppressed children – any other families or visitors will be asked to leave. You will need to get a security swipe card from Fox/Robin Ward.
  • Queen Square – avoiding lunchtime crowds and overflow from nearby pubs.
  • Bloomsbury Square and Lincoln’s Inn – again, avoiding lunchtime crowds.
  • Russell Square – but do not let your child play in the fountain.
  • Regents Park – not the zoo or play area nearby – if your child travels there by taxi or your own car.
  • Hyde Park – if your child travels there by taxi or your own car
These last two parks are more suited for children who are in longer term for treatment of viruses or stable GvHD due to their distance from GOSH. Please discuss whether they are suitable for your child with nursing staff.

Compiled by:
The Bone Marrow Transplant team in collaboration with the Child and Family Information Group
Last review date:
July 2017
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