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Transplant Programs

When to Call the Transplant Team

Your new heart and your overall health depend on prompt attention to any sign of illness, rejection, infection or medication issues. Success is a collaborative, joint effort between you, your support network and the transplant team.

The transplant coordinator is a specialized nurse who is responsible for helping you manage your care at all times. You should always contact the transplant coordinator immediately with questions, even if you are not positive that your question is really a problem.

Richard DeVos Heart & Lung Transplant Program
Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Transplant Coordinator
616.391.2802

What May Be an Emergency

If a transplant patient is experiencing any symptom that could be an emergency such as: 

  • Possible heart attack
  • Problems breathing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat
  • Hives
  • Loss of consciousness

Follow these steps:

  1. Call 9-1-1 first and immediately.
  2. Tell the operator that the victim has a heart transplant.
  3. Follow their instructions exactly.
  4. Emergency personnel will coordinate with the hospital and transplant team.

When to Call the Transplant Coordinator

This is a general list of symptoms to report. More details about reporting to the coordinator can be found on pages dealing with specific areas of transplant care throughout this website:

  • Incision tenderness
  • Temperature of 100 F or higher
  • Pulse changes
  • Swelling
  • Less Urine
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Headache
  • Blood pressure

To Report Symptoms and Urgent Concerns During Business Hours

  • Do not leave a voice mail. 
  • Speak to the administrative secretary. 
  • Give your name, the reason for your call, including symptoms, blood pressure, temperature and weight.
  • Request an immediate response and give the telephone number where you can be reached.
  • If you do not receive a call within 30 minutes, call again.

To Report Symptoms and Urgent Concerns After Hours

Call the transplant coordinator and an on-call member of the transplant team will return the call after you have provided the emergency service staff with your information.

For Non-urgent Questions or Concerns

Leave a message on voice mail during normal business hours if the coordinator is not available.

Related Links
Heart Transplant
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