Day of Transplant

Contact Information

(608) 265-1700 (clinic)

The Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant program at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin has served adult patients since 1981 and pediatric patients since 1982.


Your Transplant Day: Day Zero


Your transplant day, or Day Zero, usually comes one to two days after you UW Health bone marrow transplant patient and doctorcomplete the chemotherapy and/or radiation. The cells enter your blood through your IV, much like a blood transfusion, and will float into your bone marrow by themselves.


The cells "know" where they belong in the body. They move through the blood stream and settle into your bone marrow. This is where the infused cells will begin to grow and produce new red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.


The Infusion Process


In autologous transplant, the infusion process takes about 15-30 minutes. In allogeneic transplant it can take about one hour, sometimes longer, depending on the volume of cells. The infusion does not hurt. A nurse will watch your blood pressure and pulse and watch for any reactions while you are getting your new cells.


Some symptoms you may have during the blood or marrow stem cell infusion are listed below. These symptoms are rare and mild.

  • Feeling of short breath
  • Chest pain or chest heaviness
  • Nausea and vomiting



Engraftment is when the stem cells begin to grow in your body and start making blood cells. Engraftment is an important milestone in your progress. This most often occurs two to three weeks after the transplant day. Until your donated cells begin to engraft, you may receive red blood cell or platelet transfusions. You may also receive growth factors to help donated cells engraft more quickly.