Marina Chiara Garassino, MD, discusses key safety protocols that were initiated for patients with cancer in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marina Chiara Garassino, MD, professor of medicine, Department of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology, Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery, The University of Chicago, discusses key safety protocols that were initiated for patients with cancer in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals and cancer centers in Italy tried to delay all non-essential treatments for patients with cancer, including CT scans and MRIs, says Garassino.
After the first wave of COVID-19 infections, improved organization within cancer centers allowed normal care to be reinstated, Garassino explains. However, the inability for patients to bring someone with them to the clinic was a significant limitation of the safety protocols put in place, Garassino says. Additionally, patients were required to have a COVID-19 test before they were treated, change their masks frequently, and wash their hands frequently, Garassino says.
With those safety measures in place, as well as having a separate wing or area of the hospital reserved for patients with COVID-19, patients with cancer were generally protected against getting COVID-19 in the hospital, concludes Garassino.