1 Q) How to take care of liver transplant patients at the time of COVID?
Ans. The many questions that are being asked especially related to the care of liver transplant patients in the times of this Corona virus epidemic. Now what we have to understand that this Corona virus is not something which is going to go away over the next one or two weeks. It is here to stay and definitely it is going to be there in the community for some time. It will definitely get better and we all are hoping and expecting that. However, while we are waiting for things to get better, we should not get into more trouble by like neglecting the essential health care which is due, which has to be done for all the patients who have undergone a liver transplant. The most important thing for all our liver transplant recipients is that they should continue with their routine protocols of getting the tests done and consulting their doctors. All you all of our recipients would have got a scheduled which they have to follow, and they have to get tests done on regular intervals. Please go ahead and get those tests done. You can ask the lab people for home collection facilities. Technician can come at home and draw the blood samples and even the reports can be sent to you in a digital form. Matt nowadays, majority of the routine follow ups for transplant patients does not require the patient to come physically to the hospital. So please meet with your please connect with your transplant team, your transplant surgeon and your transplant coordinators and find out if there are facilities for an online consultation at Apollo hospitals, you can take an appointment with the doctor of your choice at Apollo 247.Com. Now, these online consultations are now a very well established way of doctor patient interaction. And based on these consultations, if your doctor wants you to come to the hospital, and then make all efforts to come to the hospital. However, please avoid routine visits to the hospital especially if it is not required, so online consultations are the way to go. The second thing is that do not get into trouble because of not taking medicines, majority of the transplant patients will be on medicines which way they will have to take long term. Be very, very sure of what medicines you have to take when you have to take and maintain a stock of those medicines. What I suggest always buy medicines in bulk of three months. And when one month worth of medicines is left with you go for the second refill of three months. So always maintain a stock of medicines you should never run out of medicines. This is going to avoid a lot of problems and a lot of visits to the hospital. I suppose in the unfortunate situation, wherein you actually fall ill you start having fever or any other problem. Many people have uncontrolled diabetes. For some people, the blood pressure might suit shoot up; all these things should not be neglected. A stitch in time saves nine and this will not be any truer than in the present situation. Be aware of your health situation. If you need to consult a doctor, consult them, take an online appointment as much as possible and then treat any problem in time so that the visits to the hospital can be minimized. The other thing which everyone has to do, and I will again reinforce here in front of you is wearing masks. Whenever you have to venture out of the house, you have to wear a mask. Make sure that the mask covers as well as the any visitors have to the house had to be discouraged. However, if suppose somebody has to come make sure that those people also wear masks, and they do it in a proper way. Hand hygiene has to be observed strictly hand washing with soap is a very, very effective method of preventing, getting the virus infection. So, wash hands with soap, user sanitize or hand sanitizer, which has got alcohol as frequently as you can. And anytime you touch any surface, which is outside of your house, you should use your hand sanitizers. The third and the other important thing is about the physical distancing or social distancing that we’re talking about. Always maintain six feet of distance between people whom you are interacting with and while you doing that that kind of an interaction make sure both you and the person in front of you are wearing masks. So, these are the things which are going to prevent you from contracting Corona virus infection. But more importantly, while everyone is talking about Corona virus and rightly so, you should not neglect the other important things concerned concerning your health. So, in this type of Corona virus epidemic, it’s important to be safe from Corona virus. But also equally important is to make sure that your routine healthcare continues. Your transplant medicines and the routine tests which have to be done as a part of the transplant follow up should be diligently followed. And this is going to ensure that your hospital trips are Minimum and you stay happy and healthy for any queries or consultations. You can reach out to me at Apollo 247.com or you can contact us on our liver helpline which is 9704688300
2. Q) How to take care of liver cirrhosis patients at the time of COVID?
Ans. We get a lot of questions from our patients who are suffering from liver cirrhosis about how to take care of themselves during this Corona virus pandemic. Now, what I would like to say that the three rules of wearing a mask, your hand hygiene practices and physical distancing or social distancing have to be followed very diligently. wearing a mask means whenever you step out of the house, or whenever you are interacting with people who are not living with you in the same house, you have to make sure that both You as well as the person whom you’re interacting with are wearing a mask and wearing it properly, which is covering both the mouth and the nose. That is an important thing interact with as much as at least a distance of four to six feet between the between you and the person whom you are interacting and frequent hand washing with soap and water and using hand sanitizers whenever you touch any surface which is outside your house. So, these are very important things which are going to prevent you from catching a Corona virus infection.
However, there are a lot of other questions which are related to your care your medical care, which is related to liver cirrhosis. So whether you should be going to the hospital or not. You should be going to the hospital if it is necessary. However, nowadays online consultations have become a very well established way of doctor patient interaction. So speak to your doctor and make sure that you really need to come to the hospital for your medical care for your routine consultation, please take an online appointment and consult your doctor. The medicines can be altered based on your symptoms that you tell him. And by review, reviewing the labs, again, for labs, you really don’t need to go to the hospital, the lab technicians can come to your house and collect the samples and then they can send the reports to you either digitally or by courier. So avoid going to the hospital as much as possible. However, if you really need to go to the hospital, you should go try to go with as much as possible with prior appointment. So be in touch with your doctor or with the coordinators and make sure your doctor is well aware that you are coming to the hospital. There would be some emergencies and sometimes, unfortunately, life threatening once again, while you’re on the way to the hospital, make an effort to contact your doctor or the transplant coordinators and make them aware that you are on to the on the way to the hospital for the emergency, these are small things, which are going to go a long way in organizing your medical care making sure that you are being taken care of in a manner which is not haphazard or random. And this way it will minimize you getting exposed to the risk of catching Corona virus. Again, another question that is asked to us very often that do the need to undergo a transplant it during this time. So what we have to understand that liver transplants are done for life threatening situations. So liver transplant actually is a life saving operation and it cannot be indefinitely postponed. This Corona virus epidemic is here, the epidemic proportions of the disease might subside, but the disease will be here for a few weeks to few months, maybe even longer. So we cannot really postpone your healthcare indefinitely.
However, there will be some cases in which transplants can be postponed for a few weeks to few months. Be in touch with your transplant physician or your transplant surgeon and make sure that you fully understand your health status and whether you can wait or not. If they advise you to undergo a transplant. I think you should definitely go ahead and get the transplant done. Majority of the transplant hospitals they have got good protocols in place to ensure that the transplants happen in the safest possible manner. There are COVID testing’s which is done the ICMR has recognized liver transplant as one of the essential operations which has to be done even during this time and that is why the testing of transplant recipients and donors is one of the approved indications of doing a Corona virus testing during this epidemic pandemic times. So, if your doctor advises you to undergo a transplant, yes, you should undergo a transplant and you should do it with this full confidence that your team is there. The team of doctors and coordinators are there to ensure that the transplants happen in the safest possible manner, even in the times of this epidemic.
Now, there is a separate video which you can refer to as to what care that has to be taken for transplant patients after they have undergone a transcript. So, dear friends, we have to be safe. We also have to understand that there are diseases which are there, apart from this COVID. And those diseases can have significant bearing on our health, if not taken care of at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner. So with these things in mind, stay in touch with your doctor, stay in touch with your transplant coordinators, and make sure that your healthcare is being organized in the most effective and the safest possible manner. For any queries or consultations. You can reach out to me at Apollo 247.com or you can contact us on our liver helpline which is 9704688300.
Dr. Manish C. Varma
MS (AIIMS), DNB
Professor & Head
Liver Transplant & HPB Surgery
Apollo Hospital, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad.
Contact Number : 9704688300