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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. Walking can help. You can also give your child pain medicine and put ice packs on the site. Your child will likely be able to do his or her 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 he or she feels 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 his or her 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 the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, give it as prescribed.
    • If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask the doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • If you think your child's pain medicine is making your child sick to his or her stomach:
    • Give your child the medicine after meals (unless your doctor has told you not to).
    • Ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.
  • If the doctor prescribed antibiotics for your child, give them as directed. Do not stop using them just because your child feels better. Your child needs to take the full course of antibiotics.


  • 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.
  • 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.