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What Are the Risks of Bone Marrow Tests?

Bone marrow tests are safe for most people. Complications are rare, but can occur. For example, some people develop bleeding or infections.

To prevent bleeding from the site where the needle was inserted, don't do any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for a few days after the tests.

To prevent infections, don't shower or bathe for the first day after the tests. After 24 hours, you can take off the bandage. Call your doctor if you develop a fever, have a lot of pain, or see redness, swelling, or discharge at the site. These are signs of infection.

Expect mild discomfort for about a week. Your doctor may tell you to take an over-the-counter pain medicine.

Bone marrow tests might not be safe for people who have certain bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia. Your doctor can tell you whether bone marrow tests are safe for you.

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Bone Marrow Tests Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Bone Marrow Tests, visit

December 20, 2011 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.