COVID-19 and Transplant Patients

Posted by jolinda @jolinda, Sat, Mar 14 5:17pm

As a kidney transplant recipient I have been extra vigilant/worried about protecting myself as COVID-19 spreads. Like most transplant patients I am used to washing my hands, carrying hand-sanitizer, avoiding sick people, getting flu shots, etc. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused me to take additional steps to try to remain safe but I am worried for my health. I would like to hear what you are doing to stay safe and how you are feeling.

@jolinda

@guidant07
Am I understanding this correctly? Have you had the same transplant for 39 years?

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@guidant07 is this rare? I expect my transplant to be a one time only life lasting organ. Nothing otherwise has been indicated to me.

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We are staying home with only a trip out for groceries every 2 weeks during the early reserved times for elderly and most vulnerable. Otherwise our granddaughter or daughter brings things we need. However, I’ll be going down to Mayo Rochester for my 2 year kidney transplant checkup next week. I’m not much concerned about Mayo, but I’m a bit concerned about the hotel we’ll be staying at. It’s attached to Mayo and mostly Mayo patients use it, so I would think they should be up to date on preparations, etc, but it is still a concern.

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@gaylea1

@guidant07 is this rare? I expect my transplant to be a one time only life lasting organ. Nothing otherwise has been indicated to me.

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At my last annual checkup at Mayo in January I asked if I had the longest living donated kidney and to my surprise there is one at 45 years!

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@guidant07

At my last annual checkup at Mayo in January I asked if I had the longest living donated kidney and to my surprise there is one at 45 years!

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@guidant07 You must be doing something right. I think the average graft survival rate is much, much lower. Does anyone know the average graft survival rate for kidneys?

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@guidant07

At my last annual checkup at Mayo in January I asked if I had the longest living donated kidney and to my surprise there is one at 45 years!

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Wow! That gives the rest of us a lot of hope.

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Like you, I have been taking the same precautions. I have friends delivering groceries, and I am fortunate to be able to work from home. I had my first COVID-era every-three-month tacro+cbc blood draw at my local clinic today — wearing a poorly-fitting N95 mask and a surgical mask on top, putting my clothes in the washer and taking a shower immediately upon returning home. I keep my mail in two alternating boxes in the garage, and I luckily snagged one package of four packs of Kirkland disinfectant wipes right before the buying rush to clean anything that arrives at my house. As much as I'd like to support local restaurants with curbside pickup, I can't bring myself to do so. I love to travel, and, since that's on hold indefinitely, I'm relegated to listing to airline boarding music (https://onemileatatime.com/airline-boarding-music/), though only after coincidentally seeing this blog post. I am walking outside regularly without a mask, since it's fairly easy to keep 6' distant from anyone I might encounter in my small town neighborhood. I have also been trying to keep tabs on studies related to treating COVID on those taking immunosuppressants…

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Would you be able to link some of those studies? What drug regiment are kidney transplant patients on these days.

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@cdrice

Like you, I have been taking the same precautions. I have friends delivering groceries, and I am fortunate to be able to work from home. I had my first COVID-era every-three-month tacro+cbc blood draw at my local clinic today — wearing a poorly-fitting N95 mask and a surgical mask on top, putting my clothes in the washer and taking a shower immediately upon returning home. I keep my mail in two alternating boxes in the garage, and I luckily snagged one package of four packs of Kirkland disinfectant wipes right before the buying rush to clean anything that arrives at my house. As much as I'd like to support local restaurants with curbside pickup, I can't bring myself to do so. I love to travel, and, since that's on hold indefinitely, I'm relegated to listing to airline boarding music (https://onemileatatime.com/airline-boarding-music/), though only after coincidentally seeing this blog post. I am walking outside regularly without a mask, since it's fairly easy to keep 6' distant from anyone I might encounter in my small town neighborhood. I have also been trying to keep tabs on studies related to treating COVID on those taking immunosuppressants…

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Hi, @cdrice. Welcome to Mayo Connect. As a recipient, I am glad that you have joined and shared your recent experience and precautions as you ventured out to get your labs drawn. I had to venture out myself at end of April. I go to a small diagnostic center, and before I went I made a phone call so I knew what I would encounter as it was my first outing. I was really pleased with how well the clinic was taking precautions.

I had a liver and kidney transplant 11 years ago . Like @guidant07, I am interested in any links that you find related to the Covid and transplant. I currently am takinf tacrolimus and cellcept.
I am retired and so I can easily stay at home. What organ did you receive? Have you always worked at home, or is this a new arrangement due to the coronavirus?

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@cdrice

Like you, I have been taking the same precautions. I have friends delivering groceries, and I am fortunate to be able to work from home. I had my first COVID-era every-three-month tacro+cbc blood draw at my local clinic today — wearing a poorly-fitting N95 mask and a surgical mask on top, putting my clothes in the washer and taking a shower immediately upon returning home. I keep my mail in two alternating boxes in the garage, and I luckily snagged one package of four packs of Kirkland disinfectant wipes right before the buying rush to clean anything that arrives at my house. As much as I'd like to support local restaurants with curbside pickup, I can't bring myself to do so. I love to travel, and, since that's on hold indefinitely, I'm relegated to listing to airline boarding music (https://onemileatatime.com/airline-boarding-music/), though only after coincidentally seeing this blog post. I am walking outside regularly without a mask, since it's fairly easy to keep 6' distant from anyone I might encounter in my small town neighborhood. I have also been trying to keep tabs on studies related to treating COVID on those taking immunosuppressants…

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@cdrice we too have not ordered take-out. They say food is safe, just move the food to other dishes, dispose of the containers, and wash your hands, but we just feel it’s not worth the risk. I can see myself giving in to it at some point though, particularly if this lasts the 18-24 months that I have seen predicted.

I had to have my blood work done the first week of April so I was very concerned about that but it was handled fairly well. I go every two months so I will be going again in a few weeks.

I think it will be a long time before we travel again. We had a Caribbean vacation to St. Martin scheduled the first week of March but a few days before we were due to leave I was advised by two departments at Mass General, my transplant hospital, to not go so of course we didn’t. The best we could do with the expenses we had already incurred (flights and hotel 3 night deposit) was a credit that has to be used within a year. That’s not going to happen.

I have been trying to keep track of info on COVID and transplant patients too but this is still so new that it changes and is inconsistent. It does seem as if we can get infected more easily, but if infected our prognosis is fairly similar to others.
JK

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@tjgisewhite

@guidant07 I believe you will be fine. I had my liver transplant in December 2019 and my husband works at Lowe's part time. When he gets home, he takes his shoes off before coming in. Then he heads straight to the shower. He wears his mask and gloves while at work. Your wife will probably be wearing her mask and gloves too. Good luck and God bless!!

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Thank you so much for your input. Jackie has been doing the same. Fortunately she only has to do this job for three more weeks. How is you transplant doing?

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I want to share 2 resources about COVID-19 for transplant recipients from the American Society for Transplantation

-Information for Transplant Recipients and Candidates
https://www.myast.org/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-frequently-asked-questions-transplant-candidates-and-recipients
I was particularly interested in this video that includes: Precautions and Prevention; Balance and Being Cautious; Work or living with someone who is working; Vaccine; organ donation and transplant.
-COVID-19 and the Transplant Community: Answering Your Questions – A Discussion with Infectious Disease Specialists

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Great webinar!! Thank you so much for making this available to the transplant community. I am 39 years into my kidney transplant and the covid-19 has caused a lot of anxiety. thank you

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@contentandwell

@cdrice we too have not ordered take-out. They say food is safe, just move the food to other dishes, dispose of the containers, and wash your hands, but we just feel it’s not worth the risk. I can see myself giving in to it at some point though, particularly if this lasts the 18-24 months that I have seen predicted.

I had to have my blood work done the first week of April so I was very concerned about that but it was handled fairly well. I go every two months so I will be going again in a few weeks.

I think it will be a long time before we travel again. We had a Caribbean vacation to St. Martin scheduled the first week of March but a few days before we were due to leave I was advised by two departments at Mass General, my transplant hospital, to not go so of course we didn’t. The best we could do with the expenses we had already incurred (flights and hotel 3 night deposit) was a credit that has to be used within a year. That’s not going to happen.

I have been trying to keep track of info on COVID and transplant patients too but this is still so new that it changes and is inconsistent. It does seem as if we can get infected more easily, but if infected our prognosis is fairly similar to others.
JK

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I am worrying about going into my lab to get blood check. I had asoike in my creatin in March after 39 years. You gave me some encouragement to get in! I was suppose be going in every month through the summer but with the covid-19 I felt it too risky. Will call them Monday for a appointment.

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@cmael

Wow! That gives the rest of us a lot of hope.

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I have tried to live a somewhat normal life without all the extras if you know what I mean.

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@rosemarya

Welcome to Connect, @guidant07. I was just about to sign off for the evening when I saw your message. That is some good timing!
I am happy and honored to meet you. What a beautiful tribute to your dad that you are doing well 39 years after your transplant. I am 11 years post liver and kidney transplant. My husband and I are both retired, so our lives will remain much the same as last week, and the week before, etc. We have become very comfortable during the isolation, and seldom have ventured out.
I can understand the concern about your wife returning to work. I does sound like she is taking all of the precautions that we have been advised to take. Is she going to be with children? Or is she in administration? That would make a big difference, I think.

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Jackie made it through her first week back at work with the children. She has a routine going now with clothes go right in the washer and her in the shower. Miss hugs and kisses though. Only four more weeks till the end of the school year.

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