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SSM Health Medical Minute: Bone marrow patients can be outpatient

ST. LOUIS - A growing number of hospitals are performing bone marrow transplants on an “outpatient” basis, allowing patients to go home each evening rather than face a lengthy hospital stay. What does that mean? SSM Health SLU Hospital is the only center in the region offering outpatient transplant and was one of fewer than 10 nationally when it opened in 2012.

An inpatient stay for a bone marrow transplant can take 2 to 5 weeks. The outpatient program -- about 2 to 3 weeks. Dr. Mark Fesler, Director of Outpatient Bone Marrow Transplant program at SLUCare and SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital, says outpatient therapy does not compromise the quality of care.

Eligible candidates must have a diagnosis of a blood cancer, in most cases, be under 60 years old, have a caregiver who is with the patient 24/7 and reliable transportation to the clinic for daily visits.

For more information, visit SSMHealth SLU Hospital Bone Marrow Transplant.