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Wed, May 13 9:40am · Tips: Traveling to Mayo to get medical care safely during COVID-19 in COVID-19

Protocols at the point of care are changing frequently. Call and ask for guidance from a front desk person so you know how to navigate the process as it changes. The last treatment my dad had in Mayo FL (last week), more care professionals were wearing masks. This was comforting to him. Visitors should know that there are signs posted on the road leading into campus that indicate visitors are asked to stay away from the hospital and ER. It's not clear whether visitors are discouraged from accompanying a patient who is receiving outpatient infusions, for example. In the Mangurian building in FL, there is a table set up right by the entrance to query people on their health status, etc. Out of an abundance of caution, I chose to forgo accompanying my dad during his daylong visit. I did not want to be exposed to the virus. Normally I would help him get from labs to in-person clinical encounter to infusion clinic. He is able to handle this on his own for the most part fortunately. I don't know what we would do if he was not able to move under his own power. Perhaps a volunteer would be available to help? Fortunately my dad was able to acquire masks from a local pharmacy. These are hard to come by. It would be nice if Mayo provided PPE to patients with underlying conditions. This may be the case. I did not inquire at the entry checkpoint.

I need to travel back to my home state and return in a week. When I do, I will quarantine for 14 days in a vacation rental. Then I will be available to be the designated driver for the next monthly infusion appointment. Traveling and caregiving is a lot more complicated now. Plan accordingly.

Most other visits are telemed now. This is a huge challenge for both patient and provider. Once the technical hurdles are dealt with, the encounter quality and level of care is just as good as in person from the patient's perspective. We should have been doing this all along.

Thu, Apr 9 3:42pm · Are you getting cancer treatments during COVID-19? in COVID-19

Good luck @cab. I think your trust in the system is well placed. My observation is that the oncology professionals are doing an excellent job at balancing an abundance of caution and continuity of oncology care. It would be nice if there was clearer evidence about the use of masks. Unfortunately the issues with supply confound the decision. I am thankful that this community exists so that we can at least discuss the issue.

Thu, Apr 9 9:16am · Are you getting cancer treatments during COVID-19? in COVID-19

Yesterday at Mayo FL my dad wore the antiviral mask we had on hand for his blood draw, APRN visit, and infusion. After a few hours the elastic band started hurting him so he took it off in the infusion room. The majority of patients in the facility wearing masks. Many were home made. My dad was not encouraged or discouraged from wearing the mask. Many of the care professionals were also wearing masks. More than you would typically see. Even in the parking lot, care professionals were wearing masks going to and from buildings and cars. The small cafeteria in the Mangurian building was open and serving food. There were not as many patients and family members as you would normally see. Overall I am glad that things were as normal as possible. I did not go in to all the places that I normally would have. Take care everyone!

Thu, Apr 2 9:16am · Are you getting cancer treatments during COVID-19? in COVID-19

Yeah, I've been to Mangurian several times. No mask was provided to my stepmom when she went for her onc. appts. there this week. She does not have symptoms. She did not ask for a mask. She does not think she needs one.The mask wearing evidence and guidelines are confusing. I found one of these in our first aid supplies. A "Curad antiviral mask". Thinking about having my dad use it on infusion day. Still wondering if it causes more harm than help as he has no symptoms, is not coughing, etc. Yes, he is infusing Daratumumab which I understand is an IgG1k monoclonal antibody. This will be his 42 infusion with this medicine. A miracle "cure" that is apparently allowing him to auto-immunize against the cancer cells.

Wed, Apr 1 9:37am · Are you getting cancer treatments during COVID-19? in COVID-19

My stepmom went for her in person appt with her neuro oncologist yesterday. Mayo FL was sparsely populated. Very different than normal. Her onc said it was safe to be in the building because there were so few people there. She got really good news, thankfully! Still, it seems like this could have been delivered telephonically even if over Zoom or equivalent. It's a big deal to drive all the way in to the office.

Mon, Mar 30 8:21pm · Are you getting cancer treatments during COVID-19? in COVID-19

Teleconsult would be very welcome in my family. Why risk going in to the point of care if information could be relayed through telemedicine technology. I can understand if providers don't want to delivery bad news over the audio/visual interaction. OTOH, it is also distressful to have to go in to a public place right now.

Mon, Mar 30 11:19am · Are you getting cancer treatments during COVID-19? in COVID-19

My stepmom went for an MRI for her brain tumor at Mayo Florida today and she was not provided with a mask. Here is my current thinking. Masks should be on the people who are coughing and sneezing, have undiagnosed fever, or test positive. There doesn't appear to be strong evidence that wearing a mask keeps you from getting the virus, unless you are providing care to a positive patient, which I am not. I wonder though, for an immunocompromised patient at the hospital, it probably couldn’t hurt to wear a mask, but not just any mask, it has to be N95 which should probably be reserved for treating providers. Hopefully Mayo will keep patients at a safe distance from one another, and screen and isolate any patients who might be infected. Hand washing and distancing are still more important than anything else we can do. I will try to make sure my family members don’t touch things at the hospital and don’t touch our faces. I'm also wondering if gloves are a good idea, even if only to remind us not to touch our faces and eyes.

Sun, Mar 29 4:38pm · Are you getting cancer treatments during COVID-19? in COVID-19

I will drive and stay in the car. I just want to make sure that masks are available. If that is even recommended. I fear that a surgical mask which is typically available does not limit the spread of this virus. If N95 masks are not available, then I want to find out if they are available for purchase at the pharmacy in the Davis Building.