By Dr. Ami Neuberger
Ms. L was in her early fifties when it all happened. She has been battling acute myeloid leukemia for the last two years, and has recently undergone a bone marrow transplant. After months and months of treatments, long hospitalizations, and late-night emergency room visits she was finally found to be in “complete remission”. There were no more cancerous cells in her blood or in her bone marrow. A month later she woke up with a fever, and a horrible pain in her leg. Her family members urged her to go the hospital, but she repeatedly refused. She had enough of doctors and medications, the hospital was so far away, and fevers eventually go down. Tragically, she was wrong. Forty eight hours later she was admitted with a very aggressive soft tissue infection which rapidly progressed to full blown sepsis, multi organ failure and the inevitable end.
What might have saved Ms. L, and make enable better informed decisions for patients with fever undergoing chemotherapy, is the ability to rapidly perform a complete blood count at home or in the GP’s office. If a system, such as the one developed by RevDx was there, extreme elevations of the white blood cell count would have probably convince Ms. L that things were urgent. Living far away from the nearest hospital is sometimes a challenge; one that can increasingly be overcome with technological advances.