Jennifer Wells, MDGastroenterology Transplant
Randy Wright, MDGastroenterology
Shreyas Saligram, MDGastroenterology
Learn about guidelines to protect you and your loved one’s health at University Health Transplant Institute in San Antonio. Rest assured, safeguarding your health is very important to us.
As a pre- or post-transplant patient, you may have questions and concerns about the risks of COVID-19. Our transplant team is working to provide the best plan of care for our patients and their families with factual, confirmed information from:
- Association of Organ Procurement Organizations
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Infectious disease experts
- Local and federal health authorities
- United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
We may postpone some studies, exams or procedures due to COVID-19 activity. We are working closely with clinics and testing sites to ensure you get the care you need when things improve. Thank you for your support as we work to provide you the best care possible.
Visiting the Transplant Institute and Clinics
For your protection, our multidisciplinary transplant team has made some changes to our usual protocols. We will update the information as the situation evolves.
To continue your care plan during social distancing, University Health Transplant Institute is changing many outpatient visits to “telemedicine,” or video visits.
If your visit can be conducted through telemedicine, you’ll be notified before your appointment that your visit is taking place via telemedicine.
You have two options for telemedicine visits:
- If you do not have an email address or an electronic device that allows you to connect to the internet, your visit will happen by phone.
- If you have an email address and a smartphone, tablet, or desktop or laptop computer with an internet connection, you’ll have a video visit through Webex. This video conferencing program allows you to see, hear and interact with your team members.
Outpatient Clinic Visits During COVID-19
Rely on our transplant medical staff to review your specific medical situation and decide on the safest way to evaluate and monitor your progress. Some of your routine appointments and procedures may be postponed, changed to a telephone call or a lab visit.
Continue to take all of your medications as prescribed unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Keep a one-month supply available at all times. Call your pharmacy if you are uncertain about refills or to inquire about your eligibility for a three-month supply.
If you need to come to University Health for an appointment, a care team member will prescreen you by phone.
Coming to University Health
When you come to University Health for an appointment or testing, you may have one caregiver go with you. Please wear a mask at all times when visiting the hospital.
Follow these procedures:
- If you park in the West Garage, take the shuttle to the hospital. Only staff may enter through the Sky Bridge.
- Answer screening questions and get your temperature checked before boarding the shuttle from the parking garage and entering University Hospital.
- If you have positive screening results, you will go to the emergency department (ED). Let the ED staff know you are a transplant patient.
Deceased Donor and Living Donor Transplants
Precautions to limit exposure to infection means we may postpone your living or deceased donor transplant if you are a stable patient. If you have a more urgent need for a transplant, you will remain active on the waitlist.
Transplant Recipients and COVID-19
Take steps to keep yourself safe, such as:
- Call your primary care physician if you think you’ve had exposure to COVID-19.
- Dial 911 if you experience difficulty breathing, abnormal chest pain, chest pressure, disorientation or significant fatigue.
- After regular business hours, call University Health’s NurseLink at 210-358-3000.
- If you have a fever, but do not have symptoms of COVID-19, call the transplant clinic during business hours at 210-358-4500 (for pediatric patients, please call 210-358-8309).
- Notify the transplant team if you are under home quarantine and/or you test positive for COVID-19.
Home Precautions for Pre- and Post-Transplant Patients
Protect your health during the COVID-19 pandemic by:
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes
- Disinfect surfaces you frequently touch to limit spread by hand-to-surface contact
- Do not share utensils, toothbrushes or drinking glasses
- Stay away from people with COVID-19 symptoms
- Wash your hands often
Observe Social Distancing
You and others you live with should follow federal and local social distancing (staying 6 feet apart) recommendations.
- Follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to prevent getting sick
- Read the American Society of Transplantation’s (AST) Frequently Asked Questions from Transplant Candidates and Recipients