Over the past quarter century, major developments in organ transplantation have made this a routine, rather than an experimental therapy for organ failure. Major changes in management and improvements in long-term immunosuppressive therapy have enhanced both survival and quality of life for organ recipients. Since both the volume and complexity of transplantations have increased, it is critical that the primary care provider be able to provide expert care to children – and to their families – who are awaiting this life saving procedure. Regular, close communication with the team of personnel who will provide the transplantation is critical. In addition, the primary care physician must be aware of key factors, which maintain the health of the chronically ill patient (and family): general pediatric care, diet/nutrition, immunizations, growth/development, psychosocial issues. He/she must also recognize early manifestations of potential life threatening complications.
This chapter will focus on areas that are important for maintaining health and for improving the chances that the organ transplantation will lead to an excellent outcome for both the patient and family.
Primary care provider Waiting period Immunizations Nutrition Development Psychosocial issues Stress Depression Anxiety Complications
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