Information for Family and Friends
During the Operation
After you go to the anesthesia holding area, family members may wait at the hospital (the surgical waiting area is on the 6
th floor of the Clinical Center) or leave a phone number where they can be reached. When the surgery is complete, your surgeon will contact them, either in person or by telephone.
We understand that waiting can be stressful for families while a loved one undergoes surgery. Our surgical liaison volunteer program helps make the wait a little easier by keeping families informed during and immediately following the surgery. While the liaisons do not provide medical information, they do relay updates straight from the operating and recovery rooms. In this way they facilitate communication among surgeons, the post anesthesia care unit, nurses and families. Volunteers also occasionally offer practical information about places to eat and stay. The surgical liaisons are based in their office adjacent to the surgical waiting area on the 6
th floor of the Clinical Center.
One Point of Contact
Your family should choose one contact person to communicate with the transplant surgeon because it is not possible for the surgeon to contact numerous people. The person you choose can then update loved ones on your progress. To respect your right to privacy, we relay only a limited amount of information over the telephone.
After the Operation
We realize your family and friends are concerned and will want to stay informed about your progress. Again, it is best if you choose one person to talk with your doctors, and then ask that person to share information with loved ones.
Communicating with one primary person and limiting the number of phone calls to the unit, especially if you have a large support network, allows us to take better care of both you and your family.
We understand how important family and loved ones are to your recovery. Our staff makes a special effort to welcome and accommodate everyone in your support network. We do have a few guidelines, however, to make sure that we are providing you and your family with the safest experience and the best care.
Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)
Visitors generally are not allowed in the PACU. You will not feel ready for visitors at this time, and your stay there will be short. If there is a special circumstance, please have your family speak to one of our nurses.
Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU)
In most cases you will go to the Farr 10 transplant unit after your stay in the PACU. But if your condition warrants it, you may go to the SICU. Family visitors are allowed in the SICU. The SICU staff will make decisions about when and how many people can visit. We make this decision based on your needs and preferences. Your nurse can guide your family as to when they can visit and when you need to rest.
The SICU has a special waiting area for family members. This room has a telephone, television and reclining chairs. A SICU staff member can direct your family to this area.
Usually children under 12 years of age are not allowed to visit the SICU. With its strange noises and machines, the SICU can be frightening for a child. Also, it is important that you avoid exposure of young children to any type of infection. Please speak to your nurse if there is a particular reason for a child to visit.
Your family can call the SICU and talk to the nurse caring for you to get updates in the morning before they come to the hospital, or at other times of the day and night as well. There are two sections, SICU A and SICU B, with different phone numbers. The nurse caring for you can give your family the correct phone number.
The transplant unit is located on the 10
th floor of the Farr Building, which is on the West Campus.
- The telephone number at the nurses' station is
The best time to call is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., although family members may call at any time. We encourage you to select one primary person as point of contact, who can then update your loved ones about your progress.
- Visiting hours on the transplant unit are every day, between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- We suggest that visitors come between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. If your family and friends need to visit outside of these hours, please speak to the nurse manager or administrative clinical supervisor.
- Children under 12 years should check at the nursing station prior to visiting (no children under 6 years to visit).
- Visitors with symptoms of a cold, the flu, stomach illness, skin rash or lesions should also check at the nursing station prior to visiting.
- No live plants or flowers are allowed.
- One family member can stay overnight with you on the transplant unit under special circumstances. Please speak to a nurse if a family member plans to stay with you after surgery. Your nurse or social worker can also provide information on local lodging.
- If several family members need to talk to the staff about your care, it is a good idea to request a family meeting.
The Family Inn
The Family Inn is a home-away-from-home for families of transplant patients. The Inn provides a clean, affordable and supportive place for families to live while waiting for treatment, or while waiting for a loved one to recover from transplant surgery. Room rents are well below the cost of area accommodations thanks to the generosity of individuals, foundations and corporations. Please
visit their website or call 617-566-3430 for more information.
Additional Family and Patient Support
Our behavioral health team provides support for you and your family before, during and after your transplant. Our transplant psychologist and social workers will help you and your family understand the physical, emotional and financial impact of your disease.
Interpreter services provides translations in more than 30 languages, including American Sign Language.
There are a number of other tertiary specialists and healthcare team members you may meet while you are here at the medical center. As a transplant patient, you will benefit from many of the state-of-the-art services available at BIDMC, a world-class academic medical center.