Original research| Volume 99, ISSUE 2, P226-233, February 2018

Safety and Feasibility of Rehabilitation Interventions in Children Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant With Thrombocytopenia

Published:August 11, 2017DOI:



      To analyze the relation between platelet counts, intensities of physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) services received, and frequencies of bleeding complications in children undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) during a period of severe thrombocytopenia.


      Retrospective review study.


      Tertiary care hospital.


      Children (N=63; age, <18y) hospitalized for HSCT in 2010 and 2011 who received PT and OT services while markedly thrombocytopenic (platelet count, ≤50K/mcL).


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Intensities of PT and OT interventions, patients' platelet counts on specific therapy days, and any bleeding events (minor or major) that occurred during or shortly after rehabilitation interventions.


      Sixty-two patients (accounting for 63 HSCTs) met the criteria for analysis. Fifty-six of these patients (57 HSCTs) underwent PT and/or OT while markedly thrombocytopenic. There was no correlation between platelet counts and intensities of rehabilitation interventions. There were no major bleeding events. There was no association between minor bleeding events and intensities of PT or OT interventions and no association between minor bleeding events and platelet counts. Only 5 minor bleeding events occurred during or after moderate or intensive therapy out of 346 PT and OT sessions (1.5%).


      The results of our study suggest that bleeding complications during or after mobilization and supervised exercise during PT and OT in children with severe thrombocytopenia undergoing HSCT are minor and relatively rare. These are encouraging results for both patients and rehabilitation specialists treating this population who is at high risk of developing immobility-related complications.


      List of abbreviations:

      CI (confidence interval), HSCT (hematopoietic stem cell transplant), OR (odds ratio), OT (occupational therapy), PT (physical therapy)
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