COVID 19 - Hematology Oncology Information

COVID-19 Information for Hematology and Oncology Patients and Families

(757) 668-7243

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving situation. We are taking the spread of this virus seriously and hope that you will, too. It is important to stay calm and think clearly. 

We have created this page to provide specific information regarding our clinic and patient population. Check back often, as we will update this as new information becomes available.


June 15, 2020 UPDATE


Effective immediately, all immunocompromised patients being admitted to the hospital for Hematology and Oncology services will be tested for COVID-19 prior to their admission. Your healthcare providers will alert you if this pre-admission testing applies to you or your child.


MAY 21, 2020 UPDATE


Please register for our upcoming support group webinars to meet with other oncology parents and caregivers. We will have a topic for each group to include healthy coping skills, sibling support, adjustment to diagnosis, and other topics per family request. We will also have our usual unstructured time for discussion and support.

Call Rebecca Ruck, LCSW, at (757) 668-9617 or Kelly Trejo, MSW, at (757) 668-7931 with additional questions or concerns. Please note: Registration is required to ensure privacy and confidentiality about your child’s medical condition. Register online here. The support group meets at noon on the fourth Tuesday of each month.


MAY 12, 2020 UPDATE


Attention Patient Families: Register for COVID-19 Webinar

Please register for one of the following webinars to learn more about COVID-19. We will be taking questions you may have.

Each 30-minute webinar will include information on COVID-19 and how to keep your child safe during this pandemic. Learn how the virus is spread, how it affects patients with sickle cell or compromised immune systems, and strategies you can take to reduce the risk of infection to your child and family.

During each webinar, Drs. Lowe and Owen will discuss the importance of continuing routine visits and treatments as well as safety measures we have taken at CHKD and in the Children’s Cancer & Blood Disorders Center to protect our patients and staff.

Each webinar will include a question and answer period. (You will be able to type your questions in to be answered.)

Please note: Registration is required. In order to ensure privacy and confidentiality about your child’s medical condition, Drs. Lowe and Owen will not discuss individual patient care.


APRIL 9, 2020 UPDATE


As we continue to follow the COVID-19 pandemic in our area we want to assure our patients that our clinic is still open and a safe place to bring your child for needed treatments. As previously noted, we have initiated practices to ensure that you and your child are safe while in our clinic.

During this time, we ask that you please arrive on time for your appointments so we are able to maintain these safety precautions. Patients who arrive more than 10 minutes late for their appointment may be rescheduled.


APRIL 3, 2020 UPDATE


Mask Recommendation

Starting immediately, our hematology and oncology providers are recommending that all of our patients wear a mask when coming to ANY visit or appointment at CHKD. If you are coming to the clinic, outpatient laboratory, emergency department, or coming for an admission, please have your child wear a mask. During this time, a mask may provide an extra layer of protection for our patients. Thank you for your help with this request.


APRIL 1, 2020 UPDATE



Telemedicine

Telemedicine (video) appointments are here! We will be reaching out to our patients over the next week to reschedule any missed and future appointments. Please feel free to call the office if you have not heard from us within the next seven days.

Labs

Many patients require labs even when the visit can be done by telemedicine. Please visit our lab services webpage for a list of lab sites. Here you’ll find information about locations and hours of operation. For our patients only, we will be offering lab draws in our clinic at the main hospital Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call (757) 668-7243 during office hours to schedule so the registration process can be done over the phone to minimize exposures.

Coronavirus Surge

Our area is expected to see a surge in cases over the coming weeks. Please stay safe and contact us with any concerns or questions.

Dietitian and Social Work Support

Our dietitian and social workers are still available during business hours as needed for support and patient needs.

Dietitian: Katherine Rominger: (757) 668-9555

Social Workers:

  • Kendall Moody (sickle cell patients 15 and older): (757) 668-8599
  • LeKia Parker (sickle cell patients 14 and younger): (757) 668-7810
  • Rebecca Ruck (oncology patients): (757) 668-9617
  • Megan Songer (hematology patients): (757) 668-7806
  • Kelly Trejo (oncology patients): (757) 668-7931


March 24, 2020 UPDATE



Screening at Hospital Entrance

Please tell the initial person you speak with you have an appointment at the Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic. We have a sick entrance to our clinic that they will escort you to if you or your child is sick.

Visitors Limited

We are limiting the number of people who can accompany each patient during their visit to one adult (no other children) per hospital policy.

Telemedicine

We will be offering telemedicine (video) appointments next week (hopefully). We will be reaching out as soon as we have the system in place and tested. 

Medication Refills

Please check your medication bottle and with your pharmacy to see if you have refills available before calling and requesting a refill. In addition, please plan ahead as there may be delays in getting your medication ordered as well as at the pharmacy.

Specific Information on COVID-19 from the Children’s Oncology Group and Sickle Cell Disease Association (PDF Format)


MARCH 18, 2020 UPDATE



CLINIC PREPARATION

In order to implement emergency response plans, we ask for your help to ensure we continue to meet the healthcare needs of our patients. Please bear with us as we make changes in the schedule, triage system, etc. to ensure the health of all of our patients.

Specific changes include:

  • Sickle cell clinics at Oyster Point are discontinued until further notice.
  • The child life area in clinic is closed until further notice.
  • We will practice social distancing.
  • Increased cleaning of all surfaces will be done throughout the day.
  • Ill patients will enter the clinic through a side door and immediately be placed into a room.
  • We will be altering appointments to spread patients out throughout the day.
  • Infusion patients will have an assigned room or space. Please remain in your space. 

Infusion sick visits

If you are scheduled for treatment in the infusion area (chemotherapy administration, transfusion, or a procedure) and are ill with respiratory symptoms or a fever, please contact us prior to your visit for registration instructions. We will make sure proper isolation procedures are used. As a last resort, we may need to reschedule or postpone some admissions and therapies.

Follow-up sick visits

Any patient who is scheduled for a routine office visit and is ill with respiratory symptoms and a fever, please call (757) 668-7243 or your nurse before coming to clinic to possibly reschedule.  

IS MY CHILD AT HIGHER RISK OF COMPLICATIONS FROM COVID-19?

At this time, the medical and public health system is still learning about COVID-19, and not enough is known to be able to predict the impact in children with impaired ability to fight infection or an underlying chronic disease (such as sickle cell anemia).

HOW DO I KEEP MY CHILD SAFE?

The best defense is to limit the spread of this virus.

Experts believe that COVID-19 spreads similarly to the flu, through close, person-to-person contact, including exposure to coughing and sneezing. Our advice for staying healthy during this outbreak is the same practical advice we use for cold and flu season.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Make sure your everyone in your household does, too.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you believe you are sick.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

What about cleaning at home?

  • It is a good idea to regularly disinfect surfaces in your home that are touched or used often. Disinfecting cell phones or electronics that are frequently used helps as well.

Do we need to wear masks outside of the clinic and hospital?

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Use of a fabric mask, however, is not intended to replace other recommended measures to stop the community spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing, hand washing, and refraining from touching your face. For more information from the CDC on COVID-19, click here.

What about travel?

  • If someone in your household is planning to travel, it may be worth reconsidering until we have more information.
  • If someone in your household, or a close contact, has recently traveled to an area with high COVID-19 activity, it is best to avoid contact with the person for at least 14 days.
  • Information about patients, household members, or close contacts who have traveled in the last month, and where they went, is very important to share with medical staff. Please be willing to share these details to help us best provide care for your family and others.

The most reliable resources for continued and regularly updated information about COVID-19 can be found at CHKD.org, CDC.gov, and WHO.int.

(757) 668-7243