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Aplastic AnemiaLife Changes

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Aplastic Anemia Post-Transplant
Life Changes

Preventing Infections

The single most critical action that every post-transplant patient can take is to avoid and prevent infections. 90% of all Aplastic Anemia patients survive the first 30 days post-transplant; during that time, they are in a Bone Marrow Transplant unit. Research studies indicate that the majority of problems faced during those first thirty days result from infections that cannot be treated successfully.

The mortality rate increases with time. 80% of all Aplastic Anemia patients survive the first year. Less than 80% survive the second year, and the rates decline until the 6th year when a transplanted Aplastic Anemia patient is considered 'cured.'

While many might think that Graft-versus-Host Disease is the leading cause of death of Aplastic Anemia patient post-transplant, studies indicate otherwise. The leading cause is infection. Like Aplastic Anemia's cause and result, GVHD is a double edged sword, so to speak.

A person with Chronic GVHD must take medication to keep the GVHD under control; a person with Chronic GVHD can expect to be medicated (immusuppression drugs) for at least two years, and as long as 7 years, according to studies. Those medications suppress their immune systems, which results in them having a very compromised immune system that is unable to fight off common bacterial, viral and fungal infections that a healthy immune system retards every day. RSV, for instance, is fought off by a child's immune system; yet it can be fatal to a bone marrow post-transplant person.

It's imperative that post-transplant patients avoid and prevent infection exposure.

Fast Food (Trough Food)

Early on in the diagnostic process, often during the period of time when doctors have but a "working diagnosis" until a confirmation comes, Aplastic Anemia potentials and confirmed patients should avoid any and every type of fast food. That avoidance includes the food and the environment. See also: Food Care Post Transplant

Eating food that is contaminated by merely sitting out for a period of time, consuming food that has unknowingly been exposed to bacteria or fungus, or chowing down on a juicy burger that has sat under heating lamps to grow bacteria that has fallen on it off of the shirt of a worker can be life-threatening actions for a person who has undergone a transplant.

places where children play

A post-transplant patient can place their life at risk by merely being in a building filled with children, at a home of a friend with a single child or anywhere where children gather or play. Children carry many viruses, some of which never affect them, but which present a life-threatening risk to a post-transplant person.

everyday bacteria becomes deadly

People with healthy immune systems eat foods with bacteria and fungus on them everyday, and because their immune systems are able to ward off infection, they don't get sick from lettuce that isn't cleaned very well or from the peeling of a banana.

The same is not true for people who have had a transplant and are still in the high risk timeline post-transplant; for them, bacteria and viruses can be deadly.

do not smoke

If you smoke, STOP. If you are around someone else that smokes, STAY AWAY. Post-transplant patients should never smoke (not even one drag), or be in a room where another person(s) is smoking, or be in a room where someone has smoked. Smoke, like dirt, contains a fungus called Aspirgilis. The fungus cannot be seen, smelled or tasted; nevertheless, it is a deadly fungus for people whose immune systems are compromised.

Post-transplant patients will have a comprised immune system for the rest of their lives.

Stay out of basements

Basements are infestations of fungus habitats, home to numerous bacteria and often can house viruses for many days after an exposure occurs. Post-transplant patients should not go in basements unless it is absolutely necessary (bomb shelter, tornado shelter or the like are called "absolutely necessary exposures").

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