Making the Rounds- Summer 2020
SICKLE CELL CARE AT KERN MEDICAL
Everardo Cobos, MD, FACP is Chairman of the Department of Medicine & Chief Division of Hematology/Oncology at Kern Medical. He serves as Principal Investigator for the clinical research study titled “Therapeutic Virtual Reality as Complementary Pain Therapy in Hospitalized Adult Patients with Sickle Cell Disease.” Ameish Govindarajan, MD is a final year Internal Medicine resident with plans on pursuing a Hematology and Oncology Fellowship after graduating. He is an Advisory Board member for the Phase One Foundation, which specializes in clinical research and primary drug trials for Oncology patients in Southern California. Samantha Ratnayake, MD is an Internal Medicine resident with plans on pursuing a Hematology and Oncology Fellowship after graduating. She plans to continue practicing medicine locally after completing her training. SundeepGrandhe, MD is agraduate of Kern Medical Internal Medicine program. He has a great passion for providing culturally sensitive and compassionate care for medically disadvantaged and underserved populations. He is currently a Fellow in Pain and Palliative Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He intends to give back to the community of Bakersfield where he has grown up.
of Virtual Reality. Dr. Everardo Cobos, Chairman of the Department of Medicine & Chief Division of Hematology/Oncology at Kern Medical and resident physicians Dr. Ameish Govindarajan Dr. Samantha Ratnayake, and Dr. Sundeep Grandhe devised a way to implement the use of virtual reality to ameliorate pain crisis as a complementary, non-opioid, therapeutic intervention for adult sickle cell patients. We have anecdotally observed an encouraging therapeutic response in several of our patients, resulting in decreased length of stays, along with reductions in opioid demand and total opioid consumption. Of note, these findings to date are anecdotal and yet to be part of a blinded controlled study. In an effort to decrease wait times in the emergency room for sickle cell patients in VOC, we are looking for solutions exclusively designed to identify sickle cell patients with early signs of clinical deterioration for urgent intervention. We have recently partnered with KindVR, a research-based company that specializes in clinically validated virtual reality experiences in leading academic institutions across North America. We have devised a first of it’s kind study to allow patients at Kern Medical suffering from adult sickle cell pain crisis to experience customized virtual reality programs designed to alleviate pain and lower opioid consumption.
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