By: Young il Chang, PharmD. MS.
Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical and Administration Sciences

The post-transplant patients, as you know, need to keep the immune system low with the immunosuppressive medications, and as the pandemic causes more chronic uncertainties, it is causing multi-faced anxiety among the pot-transplant patients. First, the health-related concerns are the major ones. Any symptom which resembles Covid19 symptoms, even the minor ones like muscle pain, can let them worry about the possible infections and spreading the virus to the family members without awareness of it. Also, these individuals are concerned that they will miss any necessary treatments, like a missing dental service for acute tooth pain and concerns about building up the infection that potentially has an adverse impact on their transplant.

The second concerns include the safety and security in treatment and returning to work. The transplant patients need to take life-long immunosuppressive medications, and for several years there was a shortage in generic tacrolimus, one of the major immunosuppressive medications. On top of that, Covid19 caused supply chain instability to raise concerns if other medications also will be on shortage. What about the in-person clinic visit or home/telemedicine visit options, like for a blood draw, for the routine medication level checkup, which both cannot guarantee Covid19 safe procedures. They also concerned about if it is safe for them to go back to work once everything reopens, and how they can address this issue and demonstrate the same value to the company as other co-workers?

Lastly, they are inundated with information floating around which are sometimes conflicting with each other since it is such a new phenomenon. They hear different things from different professionals. So, what they need is a single source of trusted information. CDS guidelines are great, probably, for dialysis patients, but it’s not specific for transplant patients.

While we are going through this pandemic with our patients, it’s important to listen to their voices and collaborate to meet their needs. Ideally, we can collaborate to provide trustworthy single-source information for a specific patient group including post-transplant patients.

About American University of Health Sciences

AUHS is a Christian based, minority-serving university, which educates students for careers in the healthcare professions. AUHS emphasizes the values of faith in God, love of humankind, and belief that all people have a right to healthcare and deserve a good quality of life based on the wellness of body, mind, and spirit. The university celebrates diversity and reaches out to groups currently underrepresented in healthcare and research. AUHS provides the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, hands-on practical training and supportive environment required to create competent and compassionate healthcare professionals.

American University of Health Sciences is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510.748.9001.

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