Prevent Infection After Transplant
Fri, 6/04/2010 10:55 AM
One of the biggest issues patients face after they have an organ transplant of any kind is the threat of infection. Transplant recipients are at a much higher risk for infection than the general public due to their immunosuppressive medications. These immunosuppressive medications are vital to prevent rejection of the transplanted organ. They act by decreasing the body’s response to fight off “foreign” cells. This prevents the body from attacking the new “foreign” organ but it also decreases the ability for the body to fight off bacteria, viruses and fungi that may invade. This decreased ability to respond to “invaders” sets the transplant patient up for a higher likelihood of infection, including infections which could be life threatening. However, there are many simple steps that a transplant patient, and any loved ones in close contact, can take to help fight off infection.
Overall, preventing infection after an organ transplant comes down to common sense. If its gross, and you touched it, wash your hands. If your friends look or sound sick, politely decline their dinner invitation. You don’t need to be afraid of germs after transplantation, you simply need to take precautions against them.
Amanda Dean is a Nurse Practitioner at the Pre-Transplant Clinic. For more information, contact the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis, Tennessee at firstname.lastname@example.org. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Locate a transplant surgeon in Tennessee or call 866.805.7710 for more information.
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