Patient Services

Being one of the most diverse countries in the world, India is a subcontinent that has a number of challenging issues for patients. Especially, in the case of blood cancer, the right diagnosis is mostly characterized by wrong information and feelings of distrust. The exponential growth in population and the proportional growing demands are such, that even with even large volumes of hospitals and medical facilities throughout the country, there are several matters still in question. Access to quality medical service for rural people is still a bothersome fact, as most of them simply are deprived of such access. The inadequate manpower of doctors in public sector hospitals is another area of concern for a number of health authorities. Furthermore, the infrastructure in the hospitals, are not adequate and fit enough to serve such large volumes of population.

  • With a population of about 1.3 billion people in India, approximately 300,000 to 350,000 people suffer from blood-related disorders such as blood cancers, thalassemia and aplastic anemia*
  • Around 60% of the children with blood cancer do not have access to the treatment at all**
  • 71% of patients do not have access to optimal treatment due to financial constraints***

Patient Services: Goal And Plans

The goal of “Patient Services” at DKMS-BMST is to address and support the unmet needs of the patients and help in improving the access to treatment for the patients and their outcomes.

The “Patient Services” team at DKMS-BMST aims at providing accurate and updated information related to medical issues (about diseases requiring transplant, transplant-related information, and about various Transplant Centers in India).

Patient Services at DKMS-BMST offers many programs and resources for patients and their families, including:

  • One-to-one support, if needed
  • Help patients and their families learn about disease conditions and transplant
  • Understand the donor search process and offer family donor registration drives
  • Help find a transplant center if needed
  • Get answers to financial or insurance questions
  • Connect with other caregivers through the Peer Connect programs
  • Help them prepare for and cope up with life after transplant

We try to be the first point of contact for patients and their caregivers, who are looking for an unrelated donor with a perfect match. After which we also plan to get a blood stem cell transplant done. We understand their needs and guide them with precise information and link them with various service providers. We act as a knowledge center and be a patient advocate at each and every stage.

As a patient counsellor throughout the entire decision-making process, every effort should be made to sustain and enhance the autonomous choice of the patient. There should be effective use of communication skills that enable the patient to fully understand the favorable and adverse outcomes of the procedure. In India the "rule of descending order", that accounts for the patient's educational, social, cultural and family background besides his/her overall ability to comprehend, must be kept in mind. A combination of all these factors ensure that the patients fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure, as well as the importance of competent support from relatives and/or caregivers during the pre and post-treatment period. Patients should be aware that they are responsible for the outcome as they make the final decision. Full details on self-care and fundamental lifestyle changes are mandatory. We help them connect with organizations providing counselling and nutritional support. We educate the patients and their caregivers on various options to register potential donors. The options provided would be as follows :

  • We can organize offline and online donor registration drives
  • We can help create awareness or enhance donor registration through a PR campaign
  • We can help you connect with the Donor Recruitment Team to facilitate the donor registration
  • We will connect you with the Information, Education, and Management Team to help educate people to register towards this noble cause.

Counselling Services

The patient in need of a stem cell transplant are given counselling service which supports them during difficult times. It involves developing a healthy relationship between a professional counsellor and the patient. The counsellor can help you to identify and resolve personal, social and emotional problems related to the illness and the stem cell transplant. The counsellor can also help you improve your coping skills and quality of life in some way or another. During this counselling, the counsellor will then offer their recommendations on how you can work to reach your goals.

The following concerns are addressed during the counselling service:

  • Developing coping strategies
  • Managing emotions, such as anxiety or sadness
  • Improving communication with the health care team and family members
  • Identifying and coping with family role changes because of illness or transplant
  • Finding reliable mental health-related information and community resources
  • Managing financial challenges

Who is eligible?

  • Patients who are pre-transplant, post-transplant or well into survivorship
  • Caregivers and family members of eligible patients
  • Bereaved people or family members

Emotional Support

When a family member or a friend is battling a disease that may require a hematopoietic stem cell transplant, many questions, doubts and fears are bound to arise in anyone’s mind. . Remember that these uncertainties are legitimate and very human. can contact the Patient Services Team during such precarious situation.

Often, waiting to find a compatible donor could leave you feeling useless and helpless. The moment of waiting in fact, can be very demanding, not only for the patient, but also for those around him.

Along with the Physical and Financial challenge, the stem cell transplant process and recovery can be very cumbersome for the mental and emotional wellbeing of the patient and their caregivers. Emotional support during this time would make them feel that we are just a call away and assure them with the fact that we are always there to listen and guide them.

Emotional support provided to various categories of patients requiring stem cell transplant is given below:

  • Child requiring transplant: Hearing that your child needs a stem cell transplant can make you undergo lot of trauma and wide range of emotions, like social stigma, fear and anxiousness. Some parents and guardians would be thankful if a potential cure option was available for their child. It can be a very challenging and an emotional time for everyone involved in the family with that child. It is essential that you get the support you need, so that you can help your child every step. During this period the family members forget about their own needs , but your mental and physical wellbeing needs looking after too.
  • Spouse requiring transplant: Helping the spouse through their transplant journey has probably become the most important thing in married life. It can be difficult and demanding, especially if you also have to earn a living and look after your family. . It could take time for the life partner to adjust and you might find it hard to cope with this new responsibility, while also worrying constantly whether they’re getting better.
  • Friend requiring transplant: When your friend is in need of a transplant and has no one else to support them, you might be their last resort . They could hopefully look up to you for help and support. Unfortunately, this would be the most difficult and challenging situation where you don’t know what to do and how to proceed. Meanwhile your friends may show their frustration and disappointment. As a friend your aim would be to help them feel safe and comfortable . We support you emotionally during this time.

Help us to register even more lifesavers

We’d love it if you could help us to get more people on the register so that everyone who needs a blood stem cell donor can find their match.