Preparing for Admissions and Your Room
Items From Home
Comfort, comfort, comfort. When packing, keep this word in mind. Comfort in clothing is important. Most patients prefer to wear sweat clothes or loose fitting clothing. Soft, warm slippers are popular. Many women choose to bring scarves to wear after their hair loss. All patients will loose their hair due to the chemotherapy given soon after admission for their transplant.
Emotional comfort is also important. Plan on surrounding yourself with pictures or items that you enjoy. Many patients bring in quilts, lamps and other personal belongings to add color and warmth to their room. A small bedside lamp is particularly helpful to provide soft light and replace the glare of overhead lights.
Because you will be in the hospital for an extended period of time, it is important for you to plan ways to keep busy. We encourage you to bring projects with you. Items such as stereos, sewing machines, personal computers, favorite games, etc., may provide occasional but important diversion. Your room will be equipped with a cable television and video player. You are welcome to bring a radio, stereo system, or computer with you.
Many transplant patients come to view their room as an island of safety. It is true that your room is the cleanest place with the cleanest air that you will ever experience. Depending on the type of transplant you are to have, you will be assigned either to a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration room or a laminar air flow room (LAF).
Generally, the HEPA room is reserved for most patients receiving their own cells for transplant (an autologous BMT). The room is ventilated with specially filtered air and once in the room the air is re-filtered. Doors are closed when the patient's blood counts are low and all persons entering the room at that time should wash their hands thoroughly. Those in street shoes and clothing will put on surgeon booties and hospital gowns.
LAF rooms are reserved for patients receiving a donor cell transplant. This is a room-within-a-room with one wall of the interior room being a high efficiency filter providing the cleanest air possible for patients. Special instructions for these rooms will be reviewed with you and your visitors.
Your room will be equipped with a hospital bed, cabinet with a shelf to store clothing, bedside stand, foot stool, 2 guest chairs, a bulletin board, cable television, video player, telephone and a bathroom. A card table is available; all you need to do is ask. Videotapes are available from the University of Iowa Hospital patient library.
It is important for you to make your room comfortable and a bit like home by bringing in some personal belongings.