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Packing your hospital bag

SUITCASE3

Depending on your medical condition, the time between being diagnosed and going into hospital can be very short.

This period of time can be very intense and you might have a lot to think about, so here’s a handy list of things that you might want to pack for your stay.

Also, if you get the chance, tell a family member or friend where you keep any spare clothes or other items that you might want brought into hospital later.

Stuff to wear

  • comfortable clothes – you won’t need your entire wardrobe, and your family will probably be able to wash and return your clothes between visits
  • zipped or button up clothes – you might spend a lot of time attached to a medication line so loose clothes that you can take on and off easily are ideal
  • vests, t-shirts and shorts – your room might get hot at times
  • plenty of sleepwear, dressing gown, slippers and socks

Stuff for the bathroom

  • wash bag – moisturisers, lip balm and hand cream can help relieve any dry skin you might have after your transplant
  • mild shampoo and shower gel if your skin becomes sensitive
  • spare loo roll and tissues
  • contact lenses/glasses
  • soft toothbrushes and toothpaste

Practical stuff

  • strong flavoured snacks – your treatments might leave a nasty taste in your mouth, so things like mints can help
  • plain food – if you are struggling with nausea, snacks like shortbread or crackers might be easier to stomach
  • cordials and fizzy water – you will have to drink a lot of fluid, and plain water could get a bit boring!
  • ice pops/lollies – another good way of taking in fluid, and they can help soothe pain in your mouth and gums (but it might be easier if visitors bring them in for you)
  • eye mask and ear plugs – trying to sleep in unfamiliar surroundings can disrupt your normal sleep pattern.

Stuff to keep you busy

  • mobile phone – check if the hospital has Wi-Fi for your phone and other devices, or if your contract will cover your data use
  • laptop or electronic tablet
  • headphones, chargers and an extra long cable that will reach your bed
  • a notebook, books and magazines
  • jigsaws, puzzles, board games or other crafts and hobbies
  • DVD box sets – lose yourself in your favourite TV show or sign up to a streaming service to help pass the time.

Information published: 26/05/2021
Next review due: 26/05/2024

Related links

Having a stem cell or bone marrow transplant

Recovery in the first year

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Patient Information Forum – Trusted Information Creator