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Preventing Infection

After transplant you are immunosuppressed which means your immune system is very weak, which puts you at an increased risk for infection. Because of this, you must be extra careful when it comes to hygiene and prevention of infection. Aside from taking the prophylactic (preventative) medications that your transplant team prescribes, there are many measures that you can take to help prevent infections:

  • Do not eat or drink after other people (i.e. do not share food or drinks).

  • Do not share razors, toothbrushes, or eating and drinking utensils.

  • Wash hands frequently and with soap and water- if soap and water is not available, use hand sanitizer.

  • Keep hands away from eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Keep sick visitors away from your home.

  • Avoid large crowds, particularly in the first 6 months after transplant when you are particularly immunosuppressed.

  • Avoid drinking water that comes from a well.

  • If anyone at home becomes sick, try to stay away from them.

  • If you are in close proximity to a sick family member, make sure they cover their mouth if they sneeze or cough, and wash their hands frequently.

  • If you share a bathroom, use separate hand towels.

  • Do not share a toothbrush.

  • Wipe down surfaces with disinfectant wipes often, including:

  • Tables, counters in the kitchen/bathroom etc.

  • Remotes

  • Light switches

  • Door handles

  • Sinks

  • Toilets, bathroom surfaces

  • Any other surfaces that you may touch frequently (i.e. cellphones, computers)

  • Keep immunizations up-to-date (see our immunization section for more information).

Things to Avoid

  • Hay

  • Construction sites: breathing in dust from construction sites may contain fungi that could cause a serious infection. Do not undertake renovation work in your home without consultation from your transplant team.

  • Barns and sheds

  • Mold

  • Compost piles

  • Bat caves

  • Duck or bird stool

  • No cleaning of the litter box or after any animal (see pets section for more information).

  • Certain swimming activities: Oceans and chlorinated swimming pools are usually acceptable, while lakes and ponds or other fresh water areas are not allowed due to the risk of infection.

  • Hot tubs/spas: if properly taken care of, may be safe to use, but please refer to your transplant team for their recommendation.

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