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Patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation (BMT) procedures require highly specialized resources and experienced staff to meet their physical, psychological, social, and developmental needs. At St. Jude, a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals provides treatment to these patients in the newly dedicated, state-of-the-art BMT Inpatient Unit, which is located in the Chili’s Care Center.
The 18-bed BMT Unit has been optimized for infection control. In preparation for a transplantation procedure, the patient’s immune system must be suppressed or completely destroyed. As a result, typically mild infections can be life-threatening to immunocompromised patients on the BMT Unit. Nosocomial infections are those that develop as a result of being in the hospital. The rate of nosocomial infections in St. Jude’s BMT Unit is now the lowest it has been in 25 years and compares well with rates at other institutions.
The design of the BMT Unit includes an airflow system that provides positive-pressure airflow and high-efficiency air filtration to minimize the presence of airborne pathogens. Intensive microbiology surveillance of all patients and the unit is conducted using molecular techniques for early detection of infectious agents. Patient responses to immunizations are also evaluated. Finally, all visitors undergo a health screening prior to visiting the BMT Unit and are strongly encouraged to practice diligent hand washing before and after each contact with the patient.