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Review article: Biomedical intelligence

Vol. 143 No. 1516 (2013)

Practical approach to early postoperative management of lung transplant recipients

  • Macé M. Schuurmans
  • Christian Benden
  • Ilhan Inci
DOI
https://doi.org/10.4414/smw.2013.13773
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2013;143:w13773
Published
07.04.2013

Abstract

Meticulous attention to detail during the early postoperative period after lung transplantation is crucial for the overall success of the procedure. It starts in the intensive care unit with the initiation of immunosuppression, implementation of anti-infective strategies and stabilisation of respiratory function. The subsequent days and weeks on the regular ward focus on titration of immunosuppressive drugs, vigilant fluid management, early mobilisation and initiation of physiotherapy. In parallel, the lung transplant recipients are actively taught about self-monitoring and self-management strategies to allow for a smooth transition to outpatient follow-up care. This article intends to communicate the practical aspects and principles of the patient management used at the authors’ centre on a daily basis by a multi-disciplinary transplant team, having at its core both a transplant pulmonologist and a thoracic surgeon. It focuses on the first month after lung transplantation, but does not cover surgical techniques, rare complications or long-term management issues of lung transplant recipients. The target audience of this practical guide are advanced trainees of pulmonology, thoracic surgery, intensive care, anaesthesiology and other clinicians involved in the early postoperative care of lung transplant recipients either in the intensive care unit or on the peripheral ward.

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