The diagnosis of acute leukemia is a medical emergency – one that should be addressed with the same urgency as a heart attack or stroke. That’s why CHI Memorial implemented the Code Leukemia protocol as part of the organization’s growing hematologic malignancies program. Code Leukemia indicates the nature of a patient’s medical emergency – and is a specific pathway for individuals who have received an acute leukemia diagnosis to expedite their intake process and prevent delays in their evaluation and treatment.
Acute leukemia is a medical emergency because oftentimes patients present with dangerously high levels of white blood cells that can precipitate respiratory and neurological distress. The early signs and symptoms of acute leukemia include fatigue, shortness of breath, unexplained fever or weight loss, loss of appetite, bone pain, bruising or bleeding. Many cases of acute leukemia are found when blood work is being done for another reason – and the clock is already ticking.
Activation of the Code Leukemia protocol helps CHI Memorial’s team initiate treatment quickly – whether a patient is referred from another medical center, emergency room, or directly from a primary care office. Our goal is to have patients admitted within two hours of referral and be seen by a leukemia specialist shortly after arrival.
CHI Memorial is the area’s only program where individuals diagnosed with acute leukemia can receive the highest quality of care – without the burden of traveling and the associated expenses. We’re also improving the quality of leukemia care here at home – through care delivered by skilled providers who are familiar with these diseases, the latest treatment options, and an understanding of the unique complications that can arise.