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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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The Pediatric Transplant Center team understands the unique needs of young patients from infants to teenagers. The conditions leading to transplant in children are often different than adults, which means the approach must be different. Our combined knowledge and specialized expertise provide a comprehensive approach to treatment that is equipped to handle all pediatric transplant cases and any complications that may arise. Your child is always at the center of our care.
Your transplant team will be comprised of the following pediatric experts:
Your child's transplant surgeon performs the transplant operation and will oversee all aspects of your child's medical care during the hospital stay, working closely with the transplant physician and transplant coordinator.
Your child's transplant physician will work closely with your transplant surgeon to monitor the non-surgical aspects of your child's care, adjusting medications and monitoring your child's organ function to identify any complications while also managing other medical issues that may arise.
The transplant coordinator will follow your child's care before, during and after surgery. This advanced practice registered nurse with special training in caring for and treating transplant patients is your "go-to" person. This includes scheduling tests, evaluating potential donors, monitoring the donor status, contacting you when an organ becomes available and your ongoing contact after the transplant.
Because medication is such an important part of life post-transplant, a transplant pharmacist personally meets with each transplant candidate and their family. Your child's pharmacist is well trained in the unique needs of young transplant patients and works closely with surgeons, physicians and the rest of the team to develop a medication plan specific to your child's needs. The pharmacist will educate and prepare you to manage the medications at home. We are never far away when needed.
Your child life specialist is an important member of your transplant team who helps to normalize your child's daily routine, prepares and provides support before and after medical procedures and helps patients and families adjust to and understand the transplant journey.
Managing infection is an extremely important part of staying healthy after your child's transplant. A team that specializes in working with immunocompromised children, are an integral part of the transplant team. You will meet with the infectious disease team throughout the transplant journey to review vaccination records, infection history and to create a personalized program for your child's infection management and prevention.
As a transplant recipient, healthy eating habits can make a big difference with your child's long-term health, both before and after transplant. A dietician, with a particular focus on transplant patients, will be a key part of your transplant team. Using innovative diagnostic and evaluation techniques, your dietician will develop a customized nutrition plan to help your child remain healthy before surgery, recover quickly and stay healthy after the transplant.
Your social worker will help your family understand the impact of your child's disease, develop strategies to handle problems that come with your child needing a transplant and help plan financial needs. The social worker can also help you find other support and resources within your community.
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. Psychiatrists and psychologists at Boston Children’s will work with your family right at the outset of the process and as your child grows toward adulthood.
Your financial coordinator will help you with the financial aspects of care for transplant. The coordinator will provide estimates for procedure costs and assist with approval for care, as well as helping you find alternate sources for funding.
Learn more about the members of each of our teams:
Each of the individual organ transplant programs is supported by the centralized Pediatric Transplant Center team, consisting of both clinical and administrative staff. This team is constantly focused on improving the clinical outcomes and patient care experience for Pediatric Transplant Center patients and their families. It fosters communication and sharing of ideas and best practices across clinicians from all transplant programs, allowing them to learn from each other.
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”