Relatives and friends
Visitors can be a real help to people in hospital, especially when they’re being nursed in a room on their own. Family and friends play an important role in helping them get through the transplant.
Most hospitals are flexible about visiting, but there may be some restrictions to the number of visitors.
When you arrive, speak with the nurse looking after your relative or friend before going into the room.
You’ll have to take certain precautions to make sure you don’t take in any infections. If you’re unsure about anything, ask the nurses or doctors. Here are some things you need to know:
Don’t visit if you’re unwell, even if you just have a minor cold or infection.
Don’t allow children who aren’t well or have been in touch with other children with an infection such as chickenpox to visit. Most units allow children to visit, but it’s best to check with the hospital staff.
Always follow any hospital instructions - for example, washing and drying your hands thoroughly before going into the person’s room.
Ask the nursing staff for advice before you bring in food. Some gifts such as flowers may not be allowed because of the risk of infection.
You can still kiss, hug or hold your friend or relative’s hand and give comfort and support by being there, but it’s important to follow the precautions.
Be prepared that there will be times when your relative or friend won’t look or feel well. You don’t have to worry about keeping them entertained. It’s often enough just to sit with them.
They may not be able to cope with many visitors or with long visits. It can help if one person coordinates visiting so that it’s spread out. Sometimes they may not feel like seeing anyone because they’re just too tired. Don’t be upset or take it personally if you’re asked to miss a visit. If you can’t visit, you can phone or send a card.
If you’re worried about anything, you can always talk to the doctors and nurses on the unit or ward.
You may find our information about talking to someone with cancer helpful.