COVID-19 policy for blood cancer & BMT hospital and clinic visitation
The Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Center at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center places the highest priority on the health and safety of our patients, staff and caregivers. Due to the presence of Coronavirus/COVID-19 in our community, we are taking measures to protect our patients with compromised immune systems. Entrances to our hospital and clinic are limited to allow for effective screening of patients and visitors. You may enter the hospital through the Emergency Room entrance and the clinic main entrance.
HospitalVisitation Policyfor Blood Cancer and BMT Units: For the protection of our immunosuppressed patients, no visitors are allowed onto the BMT unit. We encourage phone calls, FaceTime or other video/virtual interactions with family and friends.
One caregiver per patient will be allowed after being screened at clinic entrance. Screening will include questions re: recent travel, exposure to ill individuals, cough, fever, or other symptoms, and taking the patient’s or visitor’s temperature.
We will be sure to continue to keep all patients and visitors updated on the screening processes during this time.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19 infection?
- Shortness of breath
What can I do to protect myself and others?
Public health officials recommend the following steps to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including influenza and COVID-19:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often, using either soap and water or alcohol-based hand gel for at least 20 seconds
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces
For additional information and ongoing updates on COVID-19, please refer to local and state health departments and the CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) hub.
Individuals in Austin who have blood cancers now have comprehensive care close to home. St. David’s HealthCare, in affiliation with the Texas Transplant Institute at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network and Texas Oncology, collaborated to bring new treatment options to Austin, including the area’s only blood and marrow transplant program.
On Feb. 5, 2014, the first adult hematopoietic stem cell transplant–a type of blood and marrow transplant (BMT)–was performed in the new comprehensive blood cancer center at St. David's South Austin Medical Center. In 2014, 28 transplants took place with excellent outcomes. 100% survival rate in 1st year.
St. David’s South Austin Medical Center’s Blood and the Bone Marrow Transplant Program are committed to providing the highest quality of patient care. As a reflection of our commitment to care, our BMT Program is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT). FACT accreditation is granted to institutions that exceed the current standards in patient care and laboratory practices. Learn more at www.factwebsite.org.
Award Winning Patient Focused Program
St. David’s South Austin Medical Center offers a Very Immunocompromised Program (V.I.P.), the only program in the area that focuses on promptly identifying and treating immunocompromised oncology patients arriving at the Emergency Room. The program provides special training to the ER staff to identify and address the unique needs of chemotherapy patients.
Contact and Referral Information
BMT Physicians see patients in the clinic daily Mon - Fri, and are on call 24 hours, 7 days a week.
- Allogeneic BMT
- Autologous BMT
- Immune Effector Cell Therapy (CAR T-cell Therapy)
- Inpatient Consultations at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center
- Inpatient leukemia care
- Outpatient hematologic malignancies consultation and second opinion
- Acute and chronic graft versus host disease management
- Leukapheresis treatment
- Photopheresis treatment
Bone marrow transplants using your own stem cells (autologous), or another person’s stem cells (allogeneic) are potentially lifesaving treatments for a variety of blood disorders/cancers including:
- Multiple Myeloma
- Acute and Chronic Leukemia
- Myelodysplastic Syndromes
- Aplastic Anemia
The Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Center at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center is uniquely structured to address the needs of Central Texas by bringing together recognized physician leadership in oncology care from Texas Oncology and Texas Transplant Institute®, a department of Methodist Hospital.
- Located on the 6th floor of St. David’s South Austin Medical Center
- 8-Bed Inpatient Unit. All are HEPA-filtered single rooms
- Dedicated staff to care for BMT and leukemia patients
- Comfortable waiting area for family members
- Dedicated outpatient clinic with private and open treatment bays. On site stem cell processing and collection
- Onsite photopheresis
The clinic space provides patients with an outside entrance with nearby parking, so they do not have to walk through the main hospital to get to the clinic while in an immuno-compromised state.
Comprehensive education is provided for patients and their families. The process of preparing for a transplant and giving care to someone after a transplant can seem very overwhelming.
A financial counselor provides patients with extensive financial guidance throughout the transplant process.
Long Term Follow-Up
Our multidisciplinary team of specialists focuses on the assessment and management of the long-term complications of transplant. The patient’s physical and emotional well-being is evaluated regularly throughout the post-transplant period, with the goal of returning the patient back to a productive and satisfying lifestyle. The program is also designed to keep the patient’s referring oncologist informed of post-transplant testing, complications, and appropriate interventions.
24 Hour Availability
The BMT Program is committed to information sharing and communication. Knowledgeable staff is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to meet with the needs of our patients. We have created multiple devices to keep our referring physicians informed of the patient’s care including weekly summaries and computerized data sharing programs. Physicians are also available by e-mail, pager or phone. To contact or refer to the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Center at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, call (512) 816-5603.
The BMT Program Team includes a comprehensive group of transplant professionals that guide our patients through the transplant process:
- Board Certified Hematologists and Oncologists fully trained in transplant
- Board Certified Hematopathologists
- Board Certified Oncology Pharmacists
- Oncology Certified Registered Nurses
- Blood and Marrow Transplant Nurse Coordinator
- Program Social Worker
- Case Manager
- Financial Counselors
- Physical Therapist/Occupational Therapist
- Volunteer support
The team works closely together throughout every stage of the treatment process to make sure our patients receive the highest level of care as well as access to valuable support resources.
Throughout the transplant process and recovery, social workers are available to patients and their family members for emotional support.
Our pharmacy staff receives advanced training in the area of oncology and transplantation. The pharmacist will work closely with your healthcare team to manage your medication needs during and after your transplant. Our clinical pharmacy specialist is the best source for advice regarding the safe, appropriate, and cost-effective use of your medications.
A transplant presents special dietary needs. The medical team consults with inpatient and outpatient dieticians for nutritional needs and management throughout your treatment.
Transplant Nurse Coordinator
The Transplant Nurse Coordinator works closely with you from the moment you enter the transplant process. They manage your transplant calendar, set up your transplant evaluation, and other appointments, and coordinate all activities throughout the transplant process for you.
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