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Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy in Children: What to Expect at Home

Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy

Your Child's Recovery

Bone marrow aspiration is a type of procedure. It is done to take out a small amount of bone marrow fluid through a needle.

The biopsy site may feel sore for several days. You can also give your child pain medicine and put ice packs on the site. Your child will likely be able to do their normal activities the next day. Your doctor or nurse will call you with the results of your child's test.

This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for your child to recover. But each child recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to help your child get better as soon as possible.

How can you care for your child at home?


  • Have your child rest when tired.
  • Most children are able to return to school the day after the procedure.


  • Your doctor will tell you if and when your child can restart any medicines. The doctor will also give you instructions about your child taking any new medicines.
  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask the doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter medicine.
    • If the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, give it as prescribed.
    • Store your child's prescription pain medicines where no one else can get to them. When you are done using them, dispose of them quickly and safely. Your local pharmacy or hospital may have a drop-off site.


  • Put ice or a cold pack on the site for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your child's skin.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child passes out (loses consciousness).

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has increased tenderness, pain, redness, or swelling at the biopsy site.
  • Your child has a fever over 38°C (100.4°F).
  • Your child has bleeding or pus draining from the biopsy site.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • Your child is not getting better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.