Nagi El Saghir, MD @NagiSaghir of American University of Beirut Medical Center @AUBMC_Official discusses how to care for oncology patients and being educated during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
As with the majority of the world's population, hematologists, oncologists and their patients are now on the alert to face the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. Indeed we are among the most worried as our patients might be more vulnerable. Owing to regular routine visits to clinics and hospitals, our patients are at higher risk of contracting the virus and, if they acquire COVID-19, they are at higher risk of severe complications and mortality owing to chemotherapy, low blood counts, immunosuppression, poor general health, and other potential related medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiac or pulmonary disease. Patients that need comprehensive surgery, intensive care and lung radiation therapy are also at elevated risk. High-dose chemotherapy and/or post-bone marrow transplantation regimens with acute leukemia and immunosuppressive therapies face the greatest risk of complications. Learning from one another and training to combat the pandemic is important for oncology professionals.