Low blood counts

Bone marrow, the spongy material that fills the inside of the bones, produces red cells, white cells, and platelets. Chemotherapy drugs damage or destroy the cells inside the bone marrow and dramatically lower the number of cells circulating in the blood. Frequent blood tests are crucial in determining whether the child needs transfusions. Most children treated for leukemia require many transfusions of red cells and platelets. When the number of infection-fighting white cells is low, the child is in danger of developing serious infections.

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