Psychiatric Aspects of Transplantation, III: Postoperative Issues

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This article is the third in a 3-part series on psychiatric issues in organ transplantation. In this part, we emphasize the early postoperative period, when patients are in the intensive care unit (ICU). We review stressors that commonly affect patients and discuss potential psychiatric complications. Assessment and management of agitation are stressed because of the frequent appearance of this disturbance in transplant recipients. A final section devoted to the long-term adjustment to transplantation is included for critical care nurses who help patients through the beginning phase of this adjustment.