By Isaac Filat, MA, HSM, CNMT, RT(N)
The CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock, Arkansas received funding from the AHRA & Canon Medical Systems USA Putting Patients First grant to fund a blanket warmer for patients undergoing exams in cool imaging rooms. After applying for funding, we realized we had enough money to purchase one new and one refurbished blanket warmer. Each blanket warmer holds 65-85 blankets. The addition of these blanket warmers was necessary because we are seeing a growing number of patients in the imaging department from both internal and external referrals.
CARTI’s imaging department offers some of the highest quality technology in the state, and provides access to some of the most respected diagnostic radiologists in the country. CARTI offers state-of-the-art services in all areas of diagnostic imaging, including lung screening, diagnostic CT, nuclear medicine, PET-CT scans, ultrasound, and interventional radiology.
During the winter months, we experience many days of extremely cold weather, and our patients complain about being cold. The imaging room must be kept cool, and many cancer patients are elderly and/or frail. Thanks to the new blanket warmers, we are able to keep our patients comfortable. We care deeply about how our patients feel, and that’s why blanket warmers are as important as any high-tech device.
During simulation, the exact size and location of the tumor is mapped out. Patients must be as still as possible during treatment so the radiation is directed only at the specified area. Any movement by patients can blur the images, which may mean the imaging has to be redone. Warm blankets help the patients stay warm and comfortable which makes it easier to stay still. When a patient is calm and still, the imaging is better, which leads to a faster diagnosis so treatment can begin as soon as possible.
Surviving cancer and cancer treatment is no small feat. The diagnosis is so consuming, it can make a person feel defeated before leaving the exam room. In addition to the physical symptoms of cancer, the anxiety and stress level can be so high it can wreak havoc on a patient’s body and mind. A common trait with most cancer patients is a feeling of coldness during treatment, particularly chemotherapy. Keeping patients warm and comfortable can help reduce the stress of a cancer diagnosis and treatment. It’s hard to put a price on the comfort that a warm blanket can provide, and CARTI staff says that making patients warm and comfortable can’t be measured very easily. Now instead of feeling cold, our patients will be surrounded by warmth as they receive treatment for their cancer.
One of our previous patients said, “The measures they took to take care of me were really wonderful. They made me feel like I was important to them as a person and not just as a patient. It just felt like I was the only person on their mind.”
CARTI would like to thank AHRA & Canon Medical Systems USA for providing the funds to provide a heightened level of comfort to our cancer patients.
Isaac Filat, MA, HSM, CNMT, RT(N) is the director of imaging, hematology/oncology at CARTI in Little Rock, AR. Prior to his position as the director of imaging at CARTI, Mr. Filat was the manager of nuclear medicine and PET/CT at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). His career experience includes positions as a radiation safety officer, radiology manager, and supervisor of nuclear medicine at Rebsamen Medical Center. Mr. Filat’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine technology and a master’s degree in health service management. He can be reached at Isaac.firstname.lastname@example.org.