Pediatric Liver Transplant Unit

Equipment After Transplant SurgeryAt Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, your child will be in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). You can be with your child in the PICU most of the day. However, during PICU rounds, the doctors and nurses may ask that you step out of the room.

Parents may not stay overnight in their child's room We offer parent sleep rooms which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please make arrangements for outside lodging in case you are unable to secure a PICU parent sleep room.

While in intensive care, your child will be watched very closely and the staff will use special equipment to care for your child. The equipment may include IVs, a nose tube, a urine catheter, a breathing tube in the mouth or nose, and drain tubes in the abdomen (belly) to drain blood and fluids. A bandage will cover the transplant incision. Your child's face and body may look puffy from the extra fluids needed in the operating room. The puffiness disappears, usually within five to seven days.

After your child is stable, he or she will require less intense monitoring. The nurses who will take care of your child during this part of the recovery specialize in the care and education of children and their families following a liver transplant. You will continue to see the members of the liver transplant team on a daily basis. Every day the medical team will make rounds, examine your child and be available to discuss any changes in your child's health. During rounds, the team will make recommendations for care and discuss progress toward discharge from the hospital.

Our goal during this part of the hospitalization is to get your child feeling well again. The recovery process varies from person to person, depending upon how many problems the patient had prior to transplantation.

Home Care

Your primary job during this period is to learn about home transplant care. Your liver transplant coordinator will review and provide you with a home care education packet. You will learn about:

  • The new medications your child will receive
  • How to care for your child's incision sites, central line (a long-term IV) and external drains

If your child will require nursing care at home, you will meet with the home health care nurses who will teach you about the care for central lines or feeding tubes and pumps.

The nursing staff will be available at all times to answer questions and help you during this important transition to home care.

Equipment After Transplant Surgery

The liver transplant coordinator helps you obtain your child's medicines and reviews them with you before you leave the hospital. The coordinator also assists you in setting up a medication and task schedule.

At discharge (when you leave the hospital), post-transplant clinic appointments and times for having lab work done (blood draws) are scheduled.

Last Updated 11/2009