Ready for Discharge
When you are discharged, it’s important to note you still have a long road ahead to make sure the transplant is as successful as possible. Your white blood cell count will be low right after the transplant, meaning you’re more prone to infection. You must take the proper precautions to ensure you’re resisting infection as much as possible. It’s important to understand the step-by-step process of discharge and recovery so that you’re prepared from the beginning.
After your physician has cleared you based on the discharging criteria, you’re ready to go home. Your physician will clear you based on the following:
- The first step in the process is that engraftment has taken place, which occurs when the new blood cells begin to grow in your bone marrow and reach a healthy level in your blood. Your white blood cell count must be adequate to prevent severe bacterial infections.
- You must be able to tolerate both liquids and solid food and take your medications by mouth 48 hours prior to discharge. You must have minimal and controlled diarrhea.
- To ensure you do not have any infections when you return home, you’ll need to be without fever and off IV antibiotics for 48 hours prior to discharge.
- Lastly, your healthcare team will need to know who your designated caregiver is. Your caregiver plays a vital role during your transplant process and recovery. Your caregiver will need to be in the hospital on the day of your discharge to understand the instructions. They will provide you with emotional support and assistance with daily activities such as grocery shopping, meal preparation, medical appointments, housekeeping, etc.