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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 41-50

Management of hematological malignancies during the COVID-19 pandemic

Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology (Oncology Centre), College of Medicine and King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Aamer Aleem
Department of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology), King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh 11472
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/joah.joah_79_20

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Patients with hematological malignancies (HM) appear to be at increased risk of acquiring COVID-19 infection and its complications. General measures to protect patients with HM from COVID-19 include limiting exposure of patients to medical environments with the use of telemedicine and virtual clinics, delaying elective diagnostic services, modifying treatment modalities in a manner that reduces the probability of further immune suppression such as shortening the treatment course or prolonging the interval between treatment courses, and growth factor support to reduce the risk of neutropenia. Reducing the threshold for packed RBC and platelet transfusions to mitigate reduced blood product supplies, and a careful attention to drug interactions in patients who get the COVID-19, are also important management measures. Physicians caring for patients with HM need to carefully evaluate each individual patient to optimize therapies, take measures to maximize safety of patients and staff, without significantly compromising outcomes. This paper discusses management of HM during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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