Treatment at home for children with cancer 

We have seen many services adapt the way they deliver care to ensure the safety of employees and patients during COVID-19. In some instances, teams have produced innovative solutions to complex challenges that have surfaced. This is the case with the Children’s Cancer Centre at Monash Children’s Hospital.  

The team recently commenced an at-home treatment program for patients with low risk febrile neutropaenia and sent home their first patient with great success! The young patient’s mum was pleased with the service: 

“Going home with the Tazocin was so good. Being home and together [as a family] lifted my son’s spirits. His appetite increased and his sleeping improved once we went home. The nurses’ daily visits were convenient and efficient. It was a brilliant program.” 

Fever and neutropaenia is a common side effect of the children’s cancer treatment, but research has shown that an infection or serious medical complication is documented in less than half of all episodes. It has been found that children with low risk of infection may be managed safely at home with oral or intravenous antibiotics. This treatment program has improved quality of life and reduced healthcare expenditures.  

The ongoing success of the program is a joint effort between the Children’s Cancer Centre, Monash Children’s at Home, the paediatric medical wards and pharmacy services. During COVID-19, the program has been effective in reducing potential strain on our healthcare service and to ensure families can be together at home when it matters most.  

Approved by Anjali Dhulia

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