Host Defense Program
Caring for Immunocompromised Children
Host Defense Program
The Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Hematology, Oncology and BMT at Nationwide Children’s have developed the country’s first Host Defense Program specifically designed to address the needs of immunocompromised patients.
Our collaborative and comprehensive approach ensures that the unique needs of your patient will be reviewed and provided by fellowship-trained Host Defense Specialists, who are supported by an interdisciplinary team of experts in immunocompromised conditions.
The Host Defense Program provides individualized consultation services for immunocompromised patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings for a wide variety of conditions and needs, including:
- Bone Marrow Failure or Cytopenias
- Primary immunodeficiency
- Bone marrow transplant
- Solid organ transplant
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Autoimmune or autoinflammatory conditions, such as Lupus or Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Patients receiving medications that suppress the immune system
- Vaccine Clinic
Meet Our Host Defense Program Team
A variety of specialists work together to provide the best care to immunocompromised patients. These specialties include hematology, oncology, infectious disease, gastroenterology and other support staff roles.
Host Defense Education Opportunities
The Infectious Disease Host Defense Fellowship is a GME-approved, one-year program that provides additional training and expertise in the comprehensive management of infections in immunocompromised children.
Resources for Parents and Patients
Histoplasmosis is an infection caused by the fungus, Histoplasma capsulatum, which is found as spores in soil, bird and bat droppings and some decaying materials. It is the most common fungal infection in North America.
Measles, also known as rubeola, is an infection caused by the measles virus. Symptoms include high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, followed by a characteristic rash. The pink-red rash typically starts on the face, spreads to the neck and trunk, and then to the arms and legs.
Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT), more commonly known as bone marrow transplantation, is a procedure for used for some patients with cancer, immune deficiencies, or other genetic diseases.
A weak immune system makes a patient more vulnerable to infection and taking away medications early to boost the immune system may help prevent or treat infections, but may also raise the risk of GvHD.
Certain conditions may cause a child to become immunocompromised. Some children are born with abnormal immune systems and have genetic conditions called primary immunodeficiency disorders like chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) or severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).
Our collaborative approach ensures that each child’s unique needs are addressed by specialized physicians, who are supported by an interdisciplinary team of experts in immunocompromised conditions.
We want you to have the tools you need to live a safe and happy life after your transplant. This document gives you the information you need to help prevent infections that can occur after transplantation.
Although you cannot prevent all infections, many can be. This booklet was written by the Infectious Disease Host Defense Program doctors so you have the information you need to live a safe and happy life after transplant.
Host Defense Program consultations are available for Nationwide Children's physicians through an EPIC order.
If you're a referring physician interested in a consult, please call: 614-722-4452.
To make a referral, please request an appointment online or fax information to (614) 722-4458.
- Immunization record
- Written reason for referral
- Records of office visits
- Reports of other consultants
- Lab and imaging study results pertinent to the referral
Physician Direct Connect is a 24-hour physician/provider consult-transfer center. PDC is managed by experienced RNs who can assist in caring for your patients as a single point of contact for numerous requests.