Chiclee (chicleeblair) wrote in little_details,

Pre and Post Heart Transplant Questions

I've googled a ton and read all the Mayo, Boston Children's Hospital etc., posts on the topic (and the episode of BostonMed) but I need some specifics on the before and afters of my two characters, twins who have  hypertensive cardiomyopathy and need heart transplants. Natasha has had her transplant, and Nico is waiting for his/will get it by the end of the novel. Natasha is away from home, in London. Obviously, she's in contact with doctors and a transplant center there in case something happens. 

Setting is Boston, contemporary. 

If anyone actually is or knows a cardiac surgeon (pediatric preferred) send them my way, I'm sure I'll have more questions as the novel progresses. I'm still planning right now.

Natasha: 17-year-old female. 5”4’, 115ibs post-transplant Hypertensive Cardiomyopathy patient. Diagnosed at age four. Successful transplant eighteen months ago, traveling to London to participate in a summer study program. Was put in contact with a transplant center there in case of emergency.
1. What kinds of physical activity should she do?
2. What kinds of activities should she refrain from?
3. What happens if she misses a dose of anti-rejection meds?
4. What kinds of side effects might the meds cause regularly?
5. What will her scar look like? How long will it be?
6. What would her medications be, specifically? Doses? Timings?
7. How would she be told to calculate her medicines when flying overseas?—To London, six hour time difference.
8. What kinds of rebellions are seen in transplant patients? How does this affect their overall treatment?
9. Would the negative affects of alcohol in conjunction with her meds use be visible after one night of drinking (teenage year old rebel style?)
10. What common phenomenon might seem like a sign of rejection (if she’s paranoid)?
11. How would her health have declined prior to transplant?

Nico: 17-year-old male. 5’6’ 125ibs Awaiting transplant. Hypertensive Cardiomyopathy. Diagnosed at age four. Has always been the sicker of the two until a few months before Natasha’s transplant when her health spiraled downward putting her higher up on the UNOS rankings. His donor heart will appear mid-way through the novel.
1. What would be able to do/not to do at this stage?
2. What would his overall health be like?
3. What medications/devices might doctors be using to prolong the life of his heart?
4. Would he possibly be in the hospital?
5. Using a wheelchair?
6. How long would his transplant surgery take?
7. How long would he be in the CICU post-surgery?
8. How long would he be hospitalized?
9. How long until air-travel is safe—what about overseas?
10. How soon after surgery would a non-family member be able to visit?
Tags: ~medicine: illnesses: heart problems, ~medicine: transplants/transfusions

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