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Ohio Has One Of Two Cancer Emergency Departments In The Nation

A trip to the emergency room can be especially stressful for cancer patients.  Their cases can be complex due to weakening of their immune system or cancer related pain.  As of Wednesday, a special Emergency Department for cancer patients is up and running in Columbus that may help ease the stress - a collaboration of Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center and the James Cancer Hospital.  The hospital says it's one of only two in the nation. The other is in Texas.  ideastream's David Molpus report.

The regular hospital emergency department has implemented new protocols to quickly identify emergency patients with cancer and immediately shuttle them to a special zone - a kind of department within a department only this one has teams of specialists in oncology and emergency medicine.

Nursing Manager Miranda Gill says cancer patients need specialized emergency care for many reasons, including complications from chemo-therapy.  That can make them more susceptible  to infections such as Neutropenic Fever. "It requires very quick intervention with anti-biotics and fluid resuscitation," Gill says.  Another frequent emergency for cancer patients is pain -  "there's a lot of pain associated with the disease of cancer and also with the treatment."

Gill says the Emergency Department for Cancer  is something patients have told them would be a welcomed addition to care.