Most patients are being seen through Video Visits at this time. To optimize your video experience, please enroll in My Health Online and download the Sutter Health My Health Online app (Apple or Android). If you're having issues enrolling, your patient services representative can assist with other options.
We anticipate that many in-person clinic appointments will resume in June 2020 but we'll continue to offer Video Visits when appropriate. Please review our common questions and check back frequently for updates. View COVID-19 Resources for more information.
A group of clinically essential staff remain on-site at the medical office building and hospital to care for our patients. The majority of our nurses and administrative staff are working from home and will continue to answer your phone calls and My Health Online messages, review your labs and refill your medications.
We are continuing to perform heart transplants, deceased donor kidney and pancreas transplants, and liver transplants. For most of our patients, the risk of health complications due to organ failure exceeds the risks associated with contracting COVID-19 through the transplant process. Our living donor kidney transplant program has been put on hold during this period to protect the health of our living donors. Currently, all donors and recipients are being tested for COVID-19 immediately prior to the transplant surgery.
It depends. You should continue to get your routine labs drawn unless your transplant team instructs you differently. Monitoring your labs routinely is critical to the continued success of your transplant. When going to the laboratory, avoid crowds, practice social distancing by maintaining a distance of 6 feet or 2 meters from others as much as possible, cover your nose and mouth with a cloth cover, wash your hands with soap and water, and avoid touching your face.
Wash your hands often using soap and water for 20 seconds. Remember to clean the ‘webs’ between fingers and thumbs. Don’t have access to soap and water? Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in a waste basket. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands. Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes or nose, with your hands.
Yes. In general, transplant patients must always exercise caution about being in crowded situations. With the COVID-19 risk, we strongly recommend that you and your caregivers practice social distancing and adhere to your state and local authority’s shelter at home orders.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Cloth face coverings should not be used by anyone who has trouble breathing, is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. Remember that the face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected and does not replace other methods of reducing your risk of infection, such as maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others and frequent handwashing.
We recommend that transplant patients and their immediate household contacts avoid both domestic and international travel at this time.
Transplant patients have weakened immune systems and are more susceptible to infections, including COVID-19, however precise data about the disease isn't available yet.
There are currently no drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to prevent or treat COVID-19. For patients with mild symptoms, the recommended treatment is home isolation and supportive care. For patients with moderate to severe symptoms who require hospital care, several medications have shown promise in reducing disease severity and are undergoing clinical testing. These drugs include hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, which have been used to treat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, and remdesivir, which is an investigational medication that blocks replication of the virus. These medications are reserved for patients who are hospitalized, and patients must be monitored closely due to the potential for side effects. Vaccines are currently under development.
There are many causes of flu-like symptoms. We recommend consulting with your primary care physician as soon as possible. Do not change your immunosuppression. Please ensure that you have adequate immunosuppression and other transplant-related mediations at hand.
Patients who develop respiratory difficulty should go to the nearest emergency room.
Your transplant physicians and nurses are available to answer questions and provide direction by phone and MHO (hepatology and cardiology only).
ACE-inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) are medications that are used to control high blood pressure and to treat heart failure and other heart conditions. Currently, there are no studies to show that these medications are either helpful or harmful in patients with COVID-19. Furthermore, these medications are protective of heart disease, renal failure and stroke. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you continue taking your medications as prescribed.
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Convenient walk-in care clinics for your non-urgent health needs.