Selecting a BMT Center

The selection of a BMT center for your child is usually made on the basis of what is available based on both medical and practical criteria. On the medical side, the important issue is to find a center experienced in treating your child’s disease with unrelated-donor BMTs. Points to consider also include:

  • outcomes of transplants performed
  • degree of HLA matching required for a BMT
  • how patients are selected for acceptance into the program
  • availability of cord blood transplantation
  • support services offered

On the practical side, are factors including insurance coverage (center(s)  covered and extent of benefits), and practical matters like where will the family live so that their child will get the round-the-clock caregiving needed while  taking care of, at the same time, family living expenses, other children or dependents, and all other personal responsibilities. Factors to consider include:

  • fees charged, insurance plans accepted, financial arrangements available
  • location of center and need for family relocation, daily travel, or housing alternatives
  • availability of caregiver(s)  and helping network for patient and family needs

Sometimes there is no time for any research into choosing a BMT center as a child’s illness requires almost-immediate treatment. And some parents of children with very rare diseases may learn that only one specific center  has much experience in  treatment of the disease. There is no one right answer as to which is the “best” BMT center for all patients, as everyone’s situation is different.