It is World Organ Donation Day. We have with us Dr. Angeli Misra, Consultant Pathologist and Director, Lifeline Laboratory, to share some tips to take care of the elderly who may have undergone organ transplantation.

Life has drastically changed for everyone since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although, for the elderly who have been the recipient of an organ transplant, it is essential that they take extra precautions to stay safe from catching the deadly virus. Continuing sanitization and practicing physical distancing with family members and friends are important as well as following safe masking protocols along with performing good hand hygiene.

World Organ Donation Day: Tips To Take Care of Elderly Post Organ TransplantationWorld Organ Donation Day: Tips To Take Care of Elderly Post Organ Transplantation
Organ Donation

Post organ transplantation, elderly patients are more likely to be at a higher risk of severe disease from COVID-19. For most severe cases, recovery takes a minimum of 6 weeks. Since the organ transplant recipients who take immunosuppressive drugs are at a higher risk of contracting an infection from viruses such as the common cold or flu.

For example, senior citizens who undergo solid organ transplants such as lungs, heart, and kidneys are often required to take drugs to suppress their immune systems and prevent rejection. Such regimens tend to interfere with a transplant recipient’s capability of building antibodies to foreign materials, including the protective ones produced in response to the vaccines, making them more vulnerable to deadly diseases such as COVID-19. Below are some of the vital tips which the caretakers of the elderlies can follow after the latter have undergone an organ transplant during COVID-19:

Make Sure To Remain Safe From COVID-19 Infection During Hospital Stay

If the medical tests cannot be rescheduled or done at home, then the caretaker should find out if the facilities, where the tests are to be conducted, are taking necessary precautions to keep the patients healthy. All the healthcare institutions need to evaluate patients and their staff, check temperatures to assess each person for COVID-I9 infection. Any infected person must be kept away from the others.

Also read: World Organ Donation Day: What Can Be Donated?

Follow Basic COVID Safety Protocols

Necessary measures are important to help keep the elderly patients safe and reduce the chances of getting coronavirus. Be sure to make the patient wear a mask when they step outside their homes. Keep at least a distance of 6 feet between them and other people in the crowd. Wash your hands frequently and don’t forget to wash theirs as well. Also, use hand sanitizer if there are no washing facilities around you. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose with bare hands.

Do Not Lower Your Guard

Stay well prepared and always have extra supplies on hand, including face masks, hand sanitizer, and disposable gloves, so that if you come into contact with someone at a lab or any medical facility. Even when a lab technician comes to your home for sample collection, you both must be well protected and take all precautions. The same goes for the patient at your home. Disinfect the surfaces any other person might have contacted, such as doorknobs and countertops.

Vaccination Is Important Get Jabbed

Like the younger population, it is essential that the elder category of people are also properly vaccinated as vaccines will provide the necessary protection from the virus and act as a shield against it. Also, future studies in the medical field should seek to improve the COVID-19 vaccine responses in this society, including additional metabolism boosting doses or modulating the use of all the immunosuppressive drugs so that ample antibody levels are built in these patients.

At Home Care Is A Must

The patient might be spending most of the time at home. It becomes imperative to clean regularly touched surfaces such as door handles, kitchen and bathroom surfaces. This job needs to be done by someone in the home who is not the organ transplant recipient. If possible, try to keep the windows open in good weather to increase the air ventilation. This will increase the flow of air in and out of your home and can help to get rid of tiny air droplets containing the virus.

Few Things To Remember

Transplant patients and their families usually have a lot of questions and concerns about the risks of COVID-19 to them and their respective families. It is understandable that currently, not much data and information is available on whether organ transplant patients or those with chronic health diseases could be more severely impacted by the coronavirus or its aftermath. However, if one keeps following the above-mentioned tips and precautions, they are likely to keep their loved ones well-protected.

Source: Sound Health and Lasting Wealth

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