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Boston Children's has launched the world's 1st program dedicated to offering hand transplants to children who qualify.
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Each child needs different tests during the pre-transplant process, but no two appointments are exactly alike. They will differ depending on your child’s health, where he or she is in the transplant process and what information the team needs about his or her health.
Important tips to keep in mind:
Always arrive on time (or better yet, early) for any appointment. Remember, the Longwood area draws a lot of people and a lot of traffic.
Your physicians and nurses, along with the scheduling staff, will often ask you to bring documents with you to appointments like lab results, medical records or x-rays generated outside of Boston Children’s. Make sure you have these materials before you leave for your appointment.
For your first appointment, bring all of your child’s previous medical records from other institutions, including x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans and blood work.
Bring a copy of your child’s updated immunization record.
Often you can fax this information ahead of time. Speak with the program coordinator or scheduler.
Always keep your insurance information with you.
Appointments leading up to your child's transplant operation can take several hours, especially at the beginning. We promise to keep you informed and engaged throughout.
We will tell you in advance of each appointment what kinds of tests you can expect. Blood draws are very common, as are physical exams and imaging studies. We’ll also tell you how to prepare for these tests. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions.
If you have any questions about your appointment, call us any time. Call 1-877-TX4-PEDS (1-877-894-7337) or your specific transplant program:
Our transplant candidates and recipients benefit from the many specialties and services Boston Children's has to offer, such as:
Child Life Services
Child Life Specialists enhance our transplant patients’ emotional, social and cognitive growth during their hospital stay, giving special consideration to each child’s family, culture and stage of development. Our professionals are trained to work in the areas of child development, special education or recreation therapy.
Boston Children’s has an Immunocompromised Host Service (within the Division of Infectious Diseases) that focuses on the infectious disease issues affecting transplant recipients. The infectious disease nurse practitioner or physician meets with each transplant candidate.
The Clinical Nutrition Service at Boston Children’s provides comprehensive nutrition consultation for patients of all ages. Using innovative diagnostic and evaluation techniques, our staff develops appropriate nutrition plans for many of our patients.
Perioperative Transplant Team
This group of professionals is dedicated exclusively to the care of patients having a transplant. Transplant surgeons, operating room nursing staff, anesthesiologists and cardiopulmonary perfusionists work together to provide individualized care to each patient. We are with your child from the time you arrive in the pre-operative waiting area until your child is safely in recovery.
Our pharmacists and technicians are well trained in the unique needs of young transplant patients and work closely with surgeons, physicians and the rest of the multidisciplinary team to develop a medication plan specific to each child.
Because medication is such an important part of life post-transplant, a transplant pharmacist personally meets with each transplant candidate.
Psychiatry and Psychology
Due to the drastic life changes that are part of the transplant process, many patients who have received transplants benefit from the care of a mental health professional. Long-term continuity of mental health care is critical.
Psychiatrists and psychologists at Boston Children’s work with our families right at the outset of the process and as the patient grows toward adulthood, these professionals can assist in the transition of your child’s mental health care.
Each transplant program has a social worker that provides a wide range of services to support the care of patients and families before, during and after the transplant.
What will my child's room look like at Boston Children's?
10 South: Patient rooms have one patient bed or crib. There is a shower and bathroom in each room and a curtain around each bed for privacy. Each room is equipped with a refrigerator and a safe. Each bed space has a television.
8 East: Most of the time rooms are private. (They are always private for new transplant patients.) A TV and DVD player is available.
Can I stay overnight with my child?
10 South: Yes. Each bedside space has an alcove where one adult family member can sleep at night.
You may shower and use the bathroom in your child's room.
Other children, including siblings, are not allowed to stay overnight.
Information about hotel accommodations in the area is available from the social worker on your unit, at the Information desk in the main lobby, or in the Center for Families at Farley 111.
8 East: Same as above, except that instead of an alcove space, parents have access to a chair that folds out into a bed.
How can I contact the unit when I'm away?
For 10 South and 8 East: When you are not at the hospital, you may call 617-355-8017 for 10 South and 617-355-8083 for 8 East to speak with your child's nurse. For your child's protection, information is given only to parents or legal guardians.
Please let your child's nurse know when you will be gone and how you can be reached.
When are visiting hours?
For 10 South and 8 East: Visiting hours are from noon to 8 p.m. Parents and grandparents can visit any time. Other family members and patients' friends can visit during visiting hours, although the number of visitors by the bedside may be restricted.
All visitors under 12 must stop at the Information desk in the main lobby. They will get a dinosaur sticker after being assessed for contagious (catching) diseases, then will be allowed to come up to the unit. All children must be with an adult at all times.
Parents and guardians will need to obtain an identification (ID) badge from the Admitting Office or Parking and Transportation Office (1st floor, Boston Children's Hospital Garage). Parents/guardians must wear ID at all times while on hospital grounds.
Are there special precautions we must take when visiting?
For 10 South and 8 East: To prevent the spread of germs and contagious diseases, such as colds, we ask that you do not touch any child but your own. Parents need to use hand sanitizer (Purell) or wash their hands with soap and water when entering and leaving your child’s room. This helps to protect your child.
Some children in the hospital need special protection from germs. Some children have germs that others can catch. In these cases, staff and visitors may have to wear gowns and gloves, and sometimes masks. This is called "precautions." Your child's nurse will explain precautions to you.
Are flowers allowed?
For 10 South and 8 East: Due to the needs of transplant patients, flowers or plants are not allowed on the unit.
Can we order meals through room service?
For 10 South and 8 East: Yes. A Room Service menu is located at your child's bedside.
You may also use the nutrition center/kitchen on 10 South (8E), which is stocked with drinks and snacks for patients. A microwave and ice machine are available for use.
Food from home, labeled with your name and a date, may be stored in the "patient/parent" refrigerator. Anything unlabeled will be thrown away.
There is also a cafeteria located on the first floor of the Farley building. The hours are:
There are several restaurants in the area, as well. Au Bon Pain is located in the hospital lobby, and a food court is located in the Galleria next to the hospital.
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