Friday, June 17, 2011

Cancer Care at Fauquier Hospital



In addition to meeting all of the traditional healthcare needs of the community, Fauquier Hospital also provides treatment for all types of cancer (except acute leukemia) and blood disorders. Syed Salman Ali, M.D., of Fauquier Health Hematology/Oncology, says, “In our outpatient Infusion Center we have everything we need to treat almost every kind of cancer right here. We are fortunate to be able to offer this comprehensive care so close to home.”

Dr. Ali explains the process: “Most patients who are referred to me already have a diagnosis, but some come with an unclear diagnosis and I take over the diagnostic workup.” He adds, “We offer the same services that most medical facilities offer. The difference is that we offer an intense level of nursing involvement. It’s the difference between good care and exceptional care.”

“Our Infusion Center nurses offer continuous care before, during and after treatments at the center. They follow up with patients to see how they are doing at home; they check to see if they need fluids or antibiotics between chemotherapy treatments.”

Typically, cancer patients are admitted frequently to the hospital, says Dr. Ali. “But very few of our patients wind up as inpatients because of the day-to-day care they receive as outpatients. Because my office is right next to the Infusion Center, I can easily consult with the Infusion Center nurses; we can address any concerns right away, as they come up.”

Dr. Ali remembers, “One of our patients was receiving high-dose chemotherapy treatments for lung cancer. After each treatment, our nurses discovered that he was feeling more tired, and that he was not eating or drinking. They arranged for him to receive extra IV fluids and electrolytes. I am sure that our nurses’ dedicated attention and frequent follow up calls kept him out of the hospital.” Dr. Ali spends a great deal of time speaking with family members, answering questions and addressing concerns. “I have an open door policy when it comes to patients and their families. Sometimes one member of a family lives in another part of the country – or the world – and that family member happens to be the one with some medical background. I spend the time with that long-distance family member so they can help to explain the diagnosis and treatment to the other family members. We spend a lot of time working with family members.”

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