Kidney Transplant Patient Guide
Monitoring Health and a New Kidney at Home
After a patient is discharged from the hospital, he may be asked to monitor:
- blood pressure
A patient should check and record temperature any time he feels chilled, hot, achy, or ill. This may be the first sign of infection.
WARNING: DO NOT USE TYLENOL®, ADVIL® (Ibuprofen), aspirin, or other such products except under the direction of a physician, as these drugs may cause further symptoms.
If a patient's temperature is higher than normal at any time, he should notify his transplant coordinator immediately. This is considered an emergency, because an elevated temperature could indicate a serious infection or rejection.
A nurse or transplant coordinator will show how to measure blood pressure, if necessary. The top number (systolic) is noted at the first sound, and the bottom number (diastolic) is noted when the sound changes (not stops). It is important that a patient knows his normal blood pressure, normal changes, and when he should be concerned.
If a patient is taking medication that affects heart rate, the nurse or coordinator will show how to check his own pulse at home.
NOTE: If a patient experiences chest pain or has difficulty breathing, he should call 911 for an ambulance and go to the nearest emergency room. He SHOULD NOT attempt to drive himself.
The patient may weigh himself on a standard bathroom scale at the same time every morning (after going to the toilet). If he gains more than 2 pounds per day, he could be retaining fluid. This should be reported to the transplant coordinator.