A Message from the UAMS Myeloma Center

Visiting the Myeloma Center during the COVID-19 pandemic

Many of our patients are understandably concerned about their treatment during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our expert myeloma team is committed to continuing to provide world-class care during this difficult time. To achieve this safely, we have made adjustments to our regular operations to keep our patients safe while maintaining a high standard of care.

Our team of physicians and nurse practitioners are individually reviewing all patients’ appointments. Your myeloma team will convert your regular appointment to a telemedicine consult with your clinic provider when appropriate. During the telemedicine consult, we will discuss your symptoms, myeloma status and plan of care for treatment or monitoring.  Please email your markers about one week before your clinic visit and email or fax recent local labs (blood counts, chemistries etc.)  to your phone nurse.

Please note that for some patients, such as those in current treatment programs, with relapsed disease or newly diagnosed myeloma, it will be necessary to continue therapy and be seen at UAMS and/or their local oncologist. Therapy for these patients, including clinic and Infusion 4 appointments, will continue as usual.

For the safety of our patients, no visitors are allowed to reduce the risk of spreading any infection.  Family or loved ones can call via cell phone or facetime for their visit.

Contact us before your clinic or Infusion 4 visit if you are ill and have developed any fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough, sore throat or shortness of breath.  Testing for COVID-19 will be performed when clinically indicated.

Prevention is always the best strategy. We recommend our patients stay at home and only go out for essentials such as grocery shopping, doctor appointments, and the pharmacy. Avoid ill persons, and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between others and practice thorough and often hand washing and hygiene. A list of approved hand sanitizers can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. Be sure to follow your state’s guidelines.

Please contact your phone nurses or clinics with any questions. We are determined to be here for you and together we will get through this trying period.

Frits van Rhee, M.D., Ph.D.
Clinical Director of the Myeloma Center
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences