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As you near discharge, the transplant coordinator will teach you more about your transplant and inform you of how the transplant team will monitor you for potential complications. Once you have recovered from surgery, have no outstanding medical issues, are able to independently take your new medications and have received all the required education, you will be discharged from the hospital, and based on your home location, you will be required to live within a short distance from Stanford, for up to 12 weeks as needed.
At the time of discharge, a transplant coordinator will work with you to help identify a reliable and convenient pharmacy to fill your prescriptions. We will make every effort to have your discharge medicines available to you before you leave the hospital so we can be assured you have everything you need and fully understand your medication schedule.
Be sure you know all of them by name. When you need new supplies of medications and have checked to see no refills remain, ask the physicians or nurses in the clinic for new prescriptions.
You will be instructed to monitor your blood pressure at home to determine your response to antihypertensive medications. You will need to purchase a blood pressure monitoring device for home use. Many brands are available. In general, those with digital readouts are easiest to use and are available at most pharmacies and discount stores.
Plans for health maintenance after discharge are started as soon as you can care for your own needs. It is essential that you thoroughly understand the medications you are taking: their dosage, purpose, and side effects.
You should learn to measure your weight, temperature, and pulse. You should measure your weight at the same time each day, usually in the morning, to allow for more accurate comparison.
A weight gain of two to four pounds a day is significant and may indicate fluid retention. In order to evaluate the need for medication adjustment, notify your physician or nurse coordinators.
Your temperature should be taken daily or at any time that you feel feverish. If your temperature is above 38°C (100.4°F) and remains elevated for several hours, call your physician. Do not take anything to lower your temperature until instructed by your physician.
Temperature lowering drugs such as Ibuprofin will also reduce fever. We do not recommend regular use of this class of drugs, i.e., NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), but their occasional use is probably safe.
Fever may indicate the onset of infection, or very rarely, a rejection episode, and these medications could mask the symptoms.
Prior to discharge, you will have been instructed on how to take your pulse (heart rate), both at rest and during activity. Note and report any significant changes in rate or regularity.