Patient's Guide to Heart Transplant Surgery
Medical Management in the ICU and Other Floors
In the ICU
While you are in the ICU, blood tests, EKGS, and chest x-rays will be done frequently to follow your progress. Some of the drugs you will be taking affect the blood components and we want them to remain in the normal range.
One of the most important blood specimens that will be taken daily measures the amount of Cyclosporine or FK506 (Prograf) in your blood. We use the results from this specimen to adjust your Cyclosporine or Prograf dosage.
Be sure that you do not take your morning dose of Cyclosporine or Prograf until after this specimen is drawn.
For reasons that will be explained later, if your level is drawn after your morning dose, the results will be useless to us and will throw off our adjustments.
From time to time you may be asked for stool, urine, or sputum specimens. The purpose of these is to check the function of your digestive tract, kidneys, and lungs and to check for infections.
You may be asked to test your urine for sugar if your Prednisone causes you to have a high blood sugar level. Your nurse will teach you how to do this test.
Medical Management on the Other Floors
Chest x-rays, EKGS, and blood specimens will still be done at intervals. You will also have Cyclosporine or Prograf blood levels drawn. Once you move out of the ICU to one of the floors, you must still be sure that you do not take your morning dose of immunosuppressant until after your blood is drawn.
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