Friday, April 14, 2017

Pathology and a path to great clinical care

In late 2014, after a routine annual physical, Cape Cod resident Barbara Porter was diagnosed with pancytopenia, a reduction of red and white blood cells and platelets. Following additional testing and a bone marrow aspiration, Porter learned she had acute myeloid leukemia and was transferred to the MGH.

A veteran of the Massachusetts State Police, Porter immediately stopped working as a client manager in senior care to focus on “a new journey in my life.” Characterization of her leukemia led to an experimental treatment option that has been successful; the leukemia is in remission in part due to the extensive laboratory testing results provided by MGH Pathology. 

Along with Hanno Hock, MD, PhD, of Internal Medicine, many divisions of MGH Pathology –including experts in hematopathologist diagnosis, hematology, blood bank, chemistry, microbiology and molecular diagnostics –aided Porter in managing her care from initial diagnosis to the characterization of her leukemia to determine treatment options, to follow-up monitoring to maintain Porter’s health with blood transfusions and care management.

Today Porter is feeling good and is excited to spend more time with her three grandchildren and helping to organize a reunion for her Westborough High School class in August. Porter says she is grateful for the hard work and dedication of her care team whose decisions are powered by Pathology’s laboratory technologists.“When it came to my treatment, I had complete confidence in my care team at the MGH,” she says. “I don’t expect a guarantee but maybe I can help someone else that may be in my situation in the future.”

On April 24 – 28, the MGH joins the nationwide celebration of Laboratory Professionals Week, recognizing the laboratory community and all of their hard work. “It is due to the dedication and continued efforts of the Pathology laboratory workers that we have so many success stories, like Barbara’s,” says David Louis, MD, chief of Pathology Service. Join the MGH in celebrating National Lab Week, and stop by the White Lobby table for festivities throughout the week. 



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