Ann Transplant 2009; 14(1): 83-84
Available online: 2009-05-21
Fungal infections are a plague of modern medicine and the price that one pays for progress. Improvement in the diagnosis and treatment of many previously incurable diseases using therapeutic methods that interfere with the immune system have increased the number of infections, including fungal, in hospitalized patients. It was found that they represent about 8% of all reported infections. In 1998, the Infectious Diseases Society of the USA has been attempting to determine the risk factors for fungal infections.
Among these are:
- immune defi ciencies, mainly neutropenia;
- venous catheters placed in large vessels;
- parenteral feeding;
- absorption disorders and malnutrition;
- acute renal failure;
- disseminated intravascular clotting;
- the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics.
Fungal infections are still a little appreciated clinical and diagnostic problem in the treatment of cancers of the circulatory and lymphatic systems. They are among the most frequent causes of death and the most difficult to identify in a patient. The prevention of organ mycosis consists of eliminating or reducing to a minimum contact with factors which bring infection as well as primary treatment of the disease, raising the resistance of the body, and ensuring favourable environmental conditions. In children in the "risk groups" with impaired immunity, those who have had bone marrow transplant, recurrence of leukaemia, and those with treatment-resistant leukaemia with a prolonged period of neutropenia, prophylactic antifungal drug treatment is always applied.In the fight against organ mycosis, the role of nurses consists of proper patient care based on both established nursing procedures and education of the patient and the patient's parents or family. Patient care in hospital bone marrow transplant units should consider the possibility of fungal infection, which is why each patient is regarded as predisposed to such infections. Taking fungal infections into account and making nurses aware of this issue should contribute to reducing the incidence of diseases caused by fungi. Mycosis after solid organ transplantation is one of the major infectious causes of death after an allogeneic bone marrow transplant, and we still have a long way to go to achieve success in the prevention and optimal treatment of these severe infections.
Keywords: Bone Marrow Transplantation