Preparing for​​ a New Heart

As you and your family prepare for a heart transplant, the team at Lurie Children’s will attempt to answer your questions and help you during this period. 

Prepara​tion

As soon as the transplant surgeon and cardiologist accept an offer for a heart, the transplant coordinator on call will call you by phone. Please ensure we have all your phone numbers so we can reach you at any time. If you should move or get a new phone number, be sure to notify the transplant team as soon as possible so that we can update our records. 

Be prepared ahead of time to leave the house within 15 minutes. It is helpful to have a bag packed. If you are coming from out of town, you should have established travel plans. Remember, do not give your child anything to eat or drink after we call you in for transplant. 

Pr​ocedure

After you reach the hospital, the transplant coordinator will direct you to the Admitting Department or the Emergency Department to be registered. Once you arrive on the inpatient floor, the team will be waiting for you to begin the preparation for surgery. 

Before​ Surgery 

A lot of things need to happen before surgery in a short time, including chest x-ray, blood tests, vital signs, height, weight and the first by-mouth doses of antirejection medications. 

As soon as your child is ready for the operating room, we will take you to the surgical floor. 

During ​Surgery

Your child will go into the operating room and the transplant coordinator on call will take you to the nearby surgery waiting room. 

It is good to take breaks with your family to eat and rest, but be sure to tell the transplant coordinator where you will be in case of an update, which will occur periodically throughout the procedure. 

After Su​rgery

After surgery, you will see your child pass the surgery waiting room in their bed on the way to the Critical Care Unit (PICU). 

Your nurse will notify you when you may see your child.​