Outpatient Transplant Care
Just as a large portion of conventional cancer treatment has moved to ambulatory (capable of walking) or outpatient settings, technological advances have allowed more of the blood and marrow transplant care to occur in outpatient settings. The combination of outpatient and inpatient care offers many benefits to patients, family members, and caregivers including convenience, reduced cost, and psychological support.
Outpatient/ambulatory services are delivered in the outpatient areas on the Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) Blood/Marrow Transplant (BMT) Unit. Initially, patients register in the Admitting Department.
During the pre-transplant phases, several components of the process are completed on an outpatient basis:
- Administration of daily growth factors before peripheral blood stem cell and bone marrow collections
- Central venous catheter care instructions
- Peripheral blood stem cell collections
During the transplant phase, certain chemotherapeutic agents may be administered in the BMT outpatient area. However, depending on your particular case, this may or may not be an option.
During the immediate post-transplant period, blood counts will be monitored daily until your blood counts stabilize. Blood transfusions, intravenous fluids and medications such as antibiotics and anti-fungal agents may be administered daily in the outpatient area.
Handling Emotional Stress
Besides the physical discomfort associated with the transplant, you also may experience emotional psychological discomfort. These feelings stem from dealing with a life-threatening disease and its treatment, feelings of isolation caused by a long hospital stay, and a sense of helplessness while waiting for the transplanted stem cells or marrow to engraft.
Recovery can be like an emotional roller coaster ride. Transplant team members are available to you and your family during the entire transplant process.
Besides a medical social worker, chaplain, and psychologist, MVH also offers a monthly support group, Continuing the Journey. The group meets the fourth Wednesday of every month at 10:00 a.m. Adults who have undergone or are considering blood and marrow transplant are invited to attend. Adult family members and friends are also welcome.
The recovery phase begins in the hospital and continues after the patient has returned home. For most people, complete physical recovery takes two to three months but this can vary depending on the underlying disease and any complications.
While the transplant offers hope, emotional recovery can be rough on the patient, caregivers, and family. In addition to the Continuing the Journey support group, the services of a chaplain, psychologist and social worker are also available.
Learn more about what to expect with blood and marrow transplant at MVH