Bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure that is done to help cure a person who is suffering from leukemia, multiple myeloma, lymphoma, severe cases of different types of anemia and other immunodeficiency syndromes. It can also be performed on someone whose bone marrow had been destroyed due to cancer treatment. Fresh bone marrow is usually collected from the hip bone and also in the blood. Depending on the type of illness a patient has and the type of bone marrow transplant procedure that was received, a patient may have to stay in the hospital for several weeks or go home to recuperate. Below are some to the steps to take to care for someone who had a bone marrow transplant.
- The patient will be in a weakened state after the bone marrow transplant and her immune system will be down. It is very critical that the patient stays in a room and a house that is free from dust, and things that can harbor germs and bacteria.
- Clean your whole house from top to bottom. Replace curtains and vacuum the carpet and all the furniture. Clean and store plush toys that are dust gatherers. Run the vacuum on bookshelves and beds to remove dust and dust mites.
- Prepare a clean and hygienic bedroom for the patient. Change beddings, bed sheets and pillow cases. Do not use wool, flannel and other fabrics that are nappy. Use cotton percale to eliminate lint.
- Make sure that the windows and doors can be closed tight to eliminate the occasion of insects, bacteria, germs and dust outside from entering the house. The patient who had received a bone marrow transplant is expected to have slow recuperation for up to one year.
- Ask family and friends not to come and visit the patient if they are suffering from colds, flu or other seasonal diseases.
- Inform family members and friends to wash their hands before seeing the patient, before and after they eat and after they have used the bathroom.
- Clean the air filters of your air conditioning units. Dust particles usually collect in the air filters and can transfer into the air ducts and scatter around the house.
- Ask children to cooperate and to leave dirty shoes out of the house. Tell them why they need to be very clean. Tell them to wash their hands and feet after they have played outdoors. Make sure that they vaccinations are up to date. They may have to stop associating with other children or attend day care to prevent transfer of illnesses that they can bring into your home.
- If you have pets you have to think of where to board them for the meantime. Pets usually carry germs and bacteria from outside. Fleas and other insects that have attached to the pets’ hair may also be brought inside the house and bite the patient.
- In most cases the patient who is recuperating from bone marrow transplant need to stay inside a bedroom where most of the daily activities and personal hygiene can be done. Check with the doctor is an ionizer and/or humidifier is advisable to be used inside the patient’s room or where the patient stays for most of the time.
- During recuperation the patient is not allowed to do any household chore that will stir up dust and other activities that will cause her to mingle with a lot of people such as shopping. It is imperative that she does not get any infection and other ailments as well as contact with germs and bacteria that can affect her weak still weak immune system.
Caring for someone who is recuperating from bone marrow transplant is a long and arduous task. Maintaining hygienic conditions inside and outside the home is a must. Cooperation among family members and friends should also be observed to minimize the risk of the patient getting sick at this stage.