Ways to Reduce the Risk of Infection

Your child is taking immunosuppressant medications which weaken his or her immune system and increase their risk for infection. Because immunosuppressed transplant recipients are constantly at risk of infection, lifestyle changes aimed at preventing infection and reducing the risk of infection are critical.

Immunosuppression does not mean that intestine transplant recipients must avoid contact with people. By making some changes in activity and lifestyle, patients can significantly reduce their risks of acquiring infections. To decrease the risk of infection, your child should follow these guidelines:

  • Maintain general health through nutrition, rest, exercise, and stress reduction.


  • Avoid people who are sick, especially with known viral infections like COVID-19, chicken pox, measles, mumps, mononucleosis, colds, or the flu.


  • Take your medications as prescribed, particularly prophylactic medications and immunosuppression.


  • Contact your transplant coordinators at the first signs of infection.


  • Take recommended antibiotics prior to any dental work. Contact your transplant coordinator for your child’s particular recommendations.


  • Always wash your hands before you eat or drink or take any medications.


  • When in the public restroom, turn the water off and open the door with a paper towel after drying your hands.


  • Avoid gardening, or if you and your child chose to garden, wear a mask and gloves.


  • Cover your entire body, including arms and legs, when hiking.


  • Do not receive any live vaccinations.


  • Receive the flu vaccine every year.


  • Help your child remember to avoid touching their eyes, mouth, nose, and face when their hands are not clean.


  • Get tetanus shots when needed and in the event of a ‘dirty cut.’


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