Care After Bone Marrow Transplant
For Aplastic Anemia Patients
While the patient is in the hospital, an entire medical team is there to provide care and answer questions. Upon release from the hospital, that support structure seems to disappear while the patient and caregiver are tossed into a situation that they have very likely never experienced previously. It can be an anxious overwhelming time.
support is a phone call away
Transplant patients are treated in small closed environments by a team of professionals trained in an area of specialty that few other medical professionals understand. Those folks are a phone call away, so take a breath, relax, review your notes, and call them with any questions or concerns.
We cannot however overemphasize the critical importance of keeping in touch with your transplant team, asking them questions about any life or environmental decisions, listening to them and following their instructions to a "T" and not listening to anyone who is not a trained transplant specialist.
Post-transplant patients have an entire set of medical needs, medications and regimes that no person will ever be exposed to, become familiar with or take or administer unless that person is a transplant specialist or transplant team member!
There are several books on the market written for people who have undergone bone marrow transplants; unfortunately, the majority of those are written for people who had an underlying cancer, such as Leukemia. Even so, the majority of the information is accurate in one of the books that we've read: A Patient's Handbook.
While in the hospital, just about everything that a patient will need will be provided by the hospital. The single most important need of all patients that the hospital cannot provide is the love and prayers of family and friends.
friends and family help healing
Although an on slot of visitors is unhealthy for any patient who has undergone a bone marrow transplant, a visitor or two each week can go a long ways in the recovery process.
Most transplant doctors will encourage family members to visit on occasion, send cards and call. If you are concerned about calling while the patient is sleeping, call the nurses desk in the Bone Marrow Transplant unit where your loved one is staying, and ask them if it is a good time to talk with the patient, or for a better time to call back.
children are not allowed to visit
For Aplastic Anemia patients, children will not be allowed to visit during the patient's stay in the hospital, and for perhaps quite some time after the patient has been released from the hospital.
When a post-transplant patient can visit with children depends on several factors: the patient's doctor and his or her tolerance for risk; the patient's blood count levels; the season as fall through spring seasons pose additional risks that the summer season does not; level of RSV and other highly contagious bacteria, viral and fungal viruses; the child or children's health; and other factors that the medical team takes into consideration. Some doctors do not allow a patient to visit with children (even the patient's children) for several months post-transplant.
See also: Engraftment, Post-transplant Household Care, Food Care Post-transplant