Heart Transplant: What to Expect
Most often, your child's pre transplant evaluation will take place in an outpatient clinic of the hospital. This evaluation varies in time, ranging from a few days to a few weeks, and includes visits with the transplant core team and consultative services, as necessary.
In some cases, your Children's Medical Center Dallas s evaluation may be urgent and the pre transplant evaluation may occur during hospital stay.
The evaluation may include procedures to be completed in other areas of the hospital including but not limited to laboratory, radiology, urology, ophthalmology, dental clinic.
Our staff will contact you and provide more information as time nears for your child's evaluation.
What to bring:
- Insurance information and other important documents (x-rays or other pertinent medical records)
- Your child's immunization record
- Your child's favorite stuffed animal or toy
Once your child has received a transplant, care will be continued through the clinic with the same team that worked with your child and family during evaluation.
Post transplant care will include frequent clinic and lab visits to the hospital.
- Your child's transplant surgery will include an inpatient stay in the hospital.
- Parents are encouraged to stay with their children while they are hospitalized.
Hotels are located nearby for other family members. Our Social Services department offers a reservation service known as "Suite Dreams" to help families with medical needs receive discounted rates on local hotels. For Suite Dream assistance, call 1-800-955-ROOM. The Social Services department can also make referrals to the Ronald McDonald House for families of patients.
Specific items to bring during your inpatient stay should be discussed with your transplant coordinator prior to admission. Examples of items include:
- Your child's robe and slippers and favorite stuffed animal or toy (A favorite stuffed toy can serve as a "security blanket" and accompany your child into surgery, the recovery room or the intensive care unit)
- Extra clothing for you and your child
- All medicines taken by your child (give to your nurse when checking in)
- Insurance information and other important documents, including your child's immunization record
- Any medications or other items parents will need while away from home
Suggestions for parents
Child life specialists at Children's suggest you prepare your child for his stay by considering these ideas:
If children are old enough to understand, tell them in advance about the upcoming hospital stay. Older children can be told about their medical condition, the procedures required and other details about hospitalization earlier than younger children. A younger child generally should not be told until a few days before the hospitalization.
Try to answer your child's questions about the hospital honestly. You may want to try to explain what the child can expect while at the hospital.
Reassure your child that you or another family member will be nearby while your child is in the hospital to make sure he or she is all right.
Pack some special items from home. Familiar objects will help your child feel more comfortable in a strange place. A favorite toy can serve as a security blanket and can accompany your child into surgery, the recovery room or to the intensive care unit.
Siblings may find a child's hospitalization almost as stressful as the patient does. The best way to alleviate their fears is to bring them with you on a visit to the hospital. Probe for and correct any misconceptions your children may have about a brother's or sister's illness or about hospital procedures. After the hospitalization is over, set aside time for communication and activities with each child individually.
Remember, our child life staff is here to help. If you need more information or would like to speak with the child life specialist dedicated to transplantation, please contact 214-456-8600.