New rules at RIMS for cancer care
The oncology department of the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) has chalked out a strategy to serve cancer patients while paying due attention to safety protocols to keep the risk of the novel coronavirus infection at bay.
The department will screen patients on their arrival at the OPD itself. For this, the department has planned to create a screening section with a junior resident and a nurse who can look for symptomatic patients, thermal screening, travel history and other criteria outlined by the ICMR.
After screening, the department has planned to send Covid-19-asymptomatic patients to the respective oncology OPD wings where the department has planned to introduce a token system for treatment with social distancing.
For patients waiting for surgery, the department has planned alternative treatments unless surgery is an imperative.
In the chemotherapy ward, the department will ask patients to follow the regimen strictly along with precautions like wearing a mask, maintaining good hygiene, taking a balanced diet, and gargling with lukewarm saline water for two to three days after chemotherapy.
For patients who need radiation, the department plans to reduce their frequency of visits by a mild increase in the intensity of radiation.
Department head Dr Anup Kumar, who is also secretary of the Association of Radiation Oncologists of India, told The Telegraph that the strategy had been chalked out according to the need of hour.
“In this pandemic, the oncology department is also affected as is everything else. Most centres are either closed or partially functioning. We wanted to devise a plan whereby we could help patients while minimising risks,” Dr Kumar said.
“At this time, hardly two to three patients reach the oncology department every day for treatment and that takes a lot of effort,” said a junior doctor. “The immune system of patients reaching the oncology department are already weak, and they are susceptible to Covid-19. The new system will be a great help for them.”
RIMS is the only state-run superspecialty hospital in Jharkhand. A Covid-19 centre has also been established here.