Before you enter the hospital, you will meet the primary members of your transplant center team. Many doctors, nurses and other specialists will be part of your care during transplant. Your transplant coordinator or nurse coordinator will explain what to expect at the transplant center—including the safeguards they have in place to protect you from infections and to make you comfortable. These safeguards include hospital policies and guidelines for visitors.
Length of time in the hospital
Many transplant patients are in the hospital for several weeks or months. The length of your hospital stay will depend on your transplant center, your treatment plan and how quickly you recover after transplant.
Variations by transplant center
Keep track of what you might need to do before your transplant begins with the Getting ready checklist.
- Some transplant centers admit patients before they begin their preparative regimen while others wait until the day of transplant.
- Some transplant centers do not require patients who receive reduced-intensity transplants to be hospitalized before their transplant. It is common, however, for these patients to stay at the hospital at some time after their transplant to be treated for side effects.
- Transplant centers also vary in how soon they discharge patients from the hospital after transplant.
Hospital policies help prevent infections
The first few weeks after your transplant, one of the major risks is getting an infection that sometimes may be life-threatening. Your hospital has a plan in place to reduce your chances of getting an infection—often this includes preventative antibiotics. Your doctor and care team will watch for and treat any infections that may develop.
Infection precautions taken by hospitals:
Reducing the chance of a patient experiencing complications— including infection— is the highest priority of transplant centers. Marrow and cord blood transplant patients typically stay in special patient care units that follow isolation precautions, or infection prevention guidelines, to protect patients. These include:
- The use of rooms where air is filtered to remove germs. All rooms are single, or private, rooms, and doors to each room remain closed. With this type of room, healthy visitors and physical contact are allowed.
- Your visitors will need to wash their hands before and after each visit. They may also have to wear a mask over their noses and mouths, depending on the center’s policy.
- There may be guidelines on who can visit. Some centers do not allow young children or pets to visit. Anyone who is sick will not be allowed to visit you. Sometimes these policies vary depending on the time of year.
- Fresh flowers and live plants are not allowed because the germs that may be in the water or potting soil could cause infection.
- When you are out of your room you may need to wear a mask over your nose and mouth.