Preparing To Go Home
As you prepare to return home, it is important for you to know how to care for yourself. A blood or marrow transplant is a very intensive treatment and will continue to affect you for some time. There is no specific time when you will feel back to normal; it varies for each individual. The transplant team will help you understand the things you need to do to take care of yourself after discharge.
If you have questions at any time, talk to a member of the transplant team about your concerns.
Your discharge planning actually started before admission when you chose a home care agency. Blood and marrow transplant patients rely on community health nursing services for assistance with central line care, intravenous fluids or antibiotics, and monitoring for infection.
As you get ready for discharge, a discharge coordinator will discuss with you:
- Central line dressing changes and catheter care supplies
- Where you will fill your prescriptions for oral medications
- Any intravenous fluid or intravenous medication needed at home
- Your follow-up appointment date, time, and location
Patients receive written information at discharge, including information about:
- Self care
- Follow-up appointments
- Contact persons/phone numbers
The nurse caring for you on your discharge day reviews these instructions with you and answers your questions. After you are discharged, you should call your Nurse Coordinator at 585-275-1941, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm with any problems, questions, or concerns. After regular business hours or on a weekend, call the page service at 585-275-5830 and ask for the BMT attending/fellow physician on call.
Information for Medical Alert Identification
for Allogeneic Transplant Patients
Allogeneic transplant patients need to obtain a medical alert bracelet or chain as soon as possible after discharge. We can help you order one before you go home. These are also available in most pharmacies, so there is a wide variety of quality, style, and price. Your medical alert jewelry should be engraved as follows: Irradiated Blood Products Only
On the card you carry in your wallet, be sure to list your doctor’s name and phone number, the words “post bone marrow transplant,” and the medications you take routinely. You need to carry this information with you at all times for two years following your transplant.
In the immediate post-transplant period, follow-up appointments are scheduled in our inpatient/outpatient area (IPOP), located on 8-1200. When you no longer require IPOP services (frequent IV fluids, IV antibiotics, IV electrolyte replacement, or blood product transfusions), you will be seen in the BMT Clinic. When the transplant team believes you have recovered sufficiently from transplant, your care and monitoring will shift back to your referring hematologist/oncologist. The transplant team continues to monitor you from a transplant perspective.
It is important that we answer any questions you have. Your return appointments will be scheduled before you are discharged. Remember to take your discharge medications as directed. If you are unable to take or obtain your medications, please notify the transplant team.
Once you are discharged, your BMT nurse coordinator or outpatient nurse practitioner will be your primary contact for the BMT program. Your coordinator/outpatient nurse practitioner is the person to whom you should direct most of your questions after discharge, since he or she is the person most aware of your current plan of care, and is in frequent contact with your nurse practitioner, physician, and your home care nurse. She will make arrangements for any follow-up tests or changes in your care at home.