Immediate relatives are encouraged to spend time with the patient while he or she is hospitalized for a bone marrow transplant (BMT). However, there are a few rules that must be followed:
- While the doctors are discussing the patients during morning rounds — between 8:30 and 10 a.m. — you are asked to either stay in the patient's room or not enter the BMT unit. Therefore, if you want to be with the patient during those times, you must be in the room before rounds begin and remain in the room until rounds are completed. This is done in order to preserve confidentiality.
- Generally, only two visitors are permitted in the patient's room at any time. One caregiver is permitted to sleep overnight in the child's room. This caregiver must be over 18 years of age.
- All children must be screened before entering the BMT unit. Parents must notify the nurse that the child needs to be screened. Children under 12 cannot visit inside the transplant room until the patient's absolute neutrophil count (ANC) is greater than 500 for three consecutive days.
- Each room has its own private bath and toilet. Until the patient's ANC is greater than 500 for three consecutive days, only patients can use these facilities in order to minimize infection during this critical time. The patient's shower is never to be used, either by the patient or by family members, during the hospitalization. Patients will bathe using sterile water during their stay in their BMT room while parents may use the shower facilities located on both sixth and seventh floors.
- Until the patient's ANC is greater than 500 for three consecutive days, visitors — including parents — cannot eat in the child's isolation room or anteroom.
If there are any questions regarding this policy, please feel free to contact the BMT Unit nurse manager, clinical nurse specialist or nurse coordinator.