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Infusion Therapies Beyond Cancer Care

Health Articles |
Categories: Cancer

Did you know two-thirds of outpatient infusion services at Doylestown Hospital are for treatments other than chemotherapy?

When it comes to infusion services, many people are familiar with chemotherapy, but infused medications are also available to treat other medical conditions such as MS (multiple sclerosis) and RA (rheumatoid arthritis).

"We have many patients who use infusion services for blood products and IV fluid replacement, targeted therapies for RA, Crohn's and psoriasis, and albumin replacement for chronic liver conditions," says Betsy Alexander, RN, BSN, MS, OCN, CHPN, director of Cancer Services at Doylestown Hospital.

Outpatient Infusion Unit Amenities

At the core of the Outpatient Infusion Unit is clinical care, comfort and convenience. The unit includes five private rooms and six treatment bays that include space for a support person. With easy access from route 202 and valet parking, our goal is to make it as easy as possible for our patients to get to us.

Our spacious and comfortable unit provides patients with state-of-the-art devices, equipment and infusion pumps, a dedicated pharmacist who serves as a resource for nurses and to provide patient education, and flat-screen TVs among other amenities. The Cancer Institute also has an on-site laboratory, so patients may have blood work done while receiving treatment.

Another feature, which is intangible but just as important in making patients feel comfortable and confident about their care, are the nurses. "The main thing is the nurses really take an interest in what's important to each and every patient. It truly is patient-centered care," says Betsy.

"And patient education is huge," Betsy adds. "At least 50% of what the nurses do is patient education."

Our experienced, oncology-certified nurses spend extra time with new patients on the first day of treatment carefully going over each step of the care plan. They provide each patient with a personalized calendar, which contains information about everything from possible side effects to pain management.

Treating Multiple Sclerosis (MS) with Infusion Therapy

Tysabri® (natalizumab) is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006 and may reduce the number of MS flare-ups each year and slow progression of physical disability. It is an infusion given every 28 days.

Because it increases the risk of getting a rare brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), Tysabri® is available only through a restricted distribution program called the TOUCH® Prescribing Program. To meet criteria to become a TOUCH® site, the staff of the Outpatient Infusion Unit at The Cancer Institute of Doylestown Hospital completed specialized training.

"We wanted to be able to offer this to the community," says Betsy. "I've known patients who were traveling as far away as the Lehigh Valley for this treatment. But for anyone dealing with a chronic illness, it's better to be close to home. Your life is disrupted enough without having to travel far away for treatment."

About Doylestown Health's Cancer Institute

Doylestown Health's Cancer Institute offers patients the quality care they expect from a leader in cancer diagnosis and treatment — close to home. Accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and a member of Jefferson's Sidney Kimmel Cancer Network, our board-certified physicians and oncology-certified practitioners provide comprehensive, coordinated care and services for the full range of cancer diagnoses including breast, lung, urologic, gastrointestinal and other cancers.

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