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DOCYARD: HOW MULTIDISCIPLINARY CARE SAVED A PRECIOUS LIFE

Sunday, 17 June 2018 | By Dr. Vimal Pandita, Consultant, Medical Oncology | Max Super Speciality Hospital | Dehradun– 4 months ago, 38 year old Tsering (name changed), a Buddhist monk with the honorable ranking of a master, felt extreme weakness in the whole body, cough, and fever with loose stools. He consulted at Max Super speciality Hospital Dehradun and after consultation he was admitted. On admission he was found to be in a state of shock with very low blood pressure and saturation. On noticing this, he was immediately shifted to ICU and quickly put on resuscitation and supportive therapy by Critical care Team led by Dr. Shantanu Belwal and Dr. Bhupesh Uniyal. After few days, he responded to treatment and when he came out of septic shock, further investigations revealed that he was having very low WBC and Platelet count. As it was unexplainable as to why this patient has landed in septic shock at first place and why his blood counts have not recovered, Medical oncology team led by Senior consultant Dr. Vimal Pandita took over the case. A Bone marrow and specialized cytogenetic and molecular tests were done in our in house Max Lab. After a thorough review of all the results done by the team of experienced pathologists and microbiologists , Mr. Tsering was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia also known as Blood cancer in common terminology. This type of blood cancer weakens the individual’s immune system and cancer cells replace the normal cells which help us to fight the infections. This was the reason that he landed in septic shock initially. If not diagnosed and treated on time this type of cancer can kill a person in 3 to 4 months time. After the diagnosis was made, he was started on chemotherapy only after proper counseling and consent of patient and his relatives. It is important to understand that the treatment of blood cancer is very intense and prolonged. Chemotherapy is given in very high doses, requires a lot of supportive care and has risk of treatment related deaths. Patient’s strong will power and determination and support of relatives plays key role in the success of treatment. And Tsering with all his knowledge and wisdom faced the challenges with much grace. After he received his first high dose of chemotherapy, a repeat bone marrow examination was done which revealed that his cancer has been cleared. The fight was not yet over for the spiritual Tsering. He continued to receive chemotherapy sessions for next 3 months to ensure full recovery from cancer. As of now, he has totally been cured of cancer. He is now living his life as he used to, praying, teaching and loving his life as a blessing! When asked about his experience upon completion of treatment, Tsering shared, “Initially when I was brought to Max Hospital I literally feared for my life. After I got stable the doctors explained the diagnosis to me and each and every other detail of my cancer and treatment. For everything they kept me informed, discussed my fears that gave me strength to face it. There were many people who suggested that I should get treated outside the state, in Delhi, but I believed in the doctors and in the services at Max Hospital. I really thank the whole Max team and especially Dr. Vimal Pandita, who is none less than God to me. I also thank his team of Dr Anumita and nurses Sonia, Gurpreet and Shipra who not only cured me of my cancer but also constantly reassured me and made my stay very comfortable”. Shedding light on this case Dr. Vimal Pandita, Senior Consultant, Medical Oncology at Max Super Speciality Hospital Dehradun shared, ‘this is one perfect example of how a multidisciplinary care works in unison to serve and save its patients. Support of Departments of pathology and blood bank was immense and they were actively involved in managing the case. Quality and accuracy of reports reassured us to detect patient’s problem fast thus giving him timely treatment. Not only is he out of danger but also living his life normally without any fear. It has been possible with the dedicated efforts put in by the whole max family and team.’’ The story of Tsering not only tells us about the advantages of being treated by a multidisciplinary team in a proper set up, but also availability of such world class facility at your doorstep. We wish all the best to Mr. Tsering for a very bright future. About Department Of Oncology (cancer center) at Max Dehradun: At Max Superspeciality Hospital, Dehradun, we have a comprehensive Oncology set up with qualified and highly trained Medical & Surgical Oncologists, Nuclear medicine and Pain specialists. We have a dedicated Chemotherapy Daycare ward where patients regularly receive chemotherapy, Immunotherapies and Targeted therapies under supervision. Every cancer patient is discussed and planned in a Tumour board comprising of medical, surgical and radiation oncologist , pathologists, radiologists, plastic & reconstructive surgeon and speciality Nurses to arrive at a comprehensive , personalised and evidence based care plan of a patient.

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