Objective: There is a lack of sufficient information on the employment of home care for the treatment of hematologic malignancies.
Methods: We provided home care to 580 patients from 1 January through 31 October 2007. Patients with hematologic malignancies were selected from these 580 patients; subsequently, by reviewing their medical records.
Results: The main clinical condition in 15 (2.6%) of 580 patients was hematologic malignancies. The median age of the patients was 78 years (range, 64-92). Of the 15 patients, 12 showed a performance status (PS) of 3-4, and the condition of 6 patients was complicated with dementia. Food intake via the oral route was possible in 14 patients. These patients were administered palliative care. Among the seven patients who required pain control, four had been opioid users; however, none had used anticancer drugs for pain relief. Furthermore, three patients received blood transfusion. Although three patients developed severe complications (acute appendicitis, pneumonia and hyperglycemia), we were able to treat all cases adequately. Eight patients died at home due to aggravation of the primary diseases. The remaining seven patients were transferred to other hospitals for the treatment of complications or for the convenience of their respective families.
Conclusions: Even patients with hematologic malignancies could be candidates for home care if their underlying diseases are slowly progressive, and they can sustain themselves by oral intakes. Dementia and poor PS are not contraindicated to it.