Checking lab results is one way the Children’s Heart Transplant team can make sure a child is on the right amount of medicine. A blood test measures blood levels of cyclosporine or tacrolimus, so the heart transplant team can decide on the right amount of medicine for a child.
- These levels are only correct 10 to 14 hours from the last dose of medicine (eight hours in babies). This is why a child cannot take these two medicines before lab work or a heart biopsy.
The Children’s Heart Transplant team will check lab work on a child with every biopsy and clinic visit.
If a child’s scheduled clinic visits are more than two months apart, parents should have their child’s labs checked at either Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta or at a lab near their hometown every two months.
- A special form is included in the Heart Transplant Patient Family Handbook that lists all the labs we check on a regular basis. There is also a request for your local lab to fax tests results to us.
- One tube of blood has to be sent overnight to Children’s at Egleston to be checked. This is so that we can check the cyclosporine or tacrolimus level the same way each time.
- Always call our office on the day that the child has labs so that we know to expect the specimen.
Two or three days after the labs are drawn from the child, the Children’s Heart Transplant coordinator will call parents with any medicine changes. The Children’s Heart Transplant coordinator will also let them know when to have the labs checked again.