Pediatric Hemato-oncology

Target population

Pediatric population (infants and children up to 18 years of age).
What is the service about?

The Pediatric Hemato-oncology Service provides medical attention for the pediatric population (from 0 to 18 years of age) suffering from malignant diseases (cancer) and hematological disorders (congenital or acquired), in a multidisciplinary and comprehensive manner.

It is a leading service and referent in the treatment of childhood cancers, not only in the Southwest of Colombia but across our country. On average, 120 new patients per year are diagnosed with solid and hematolymphoid tumors (leukemias) who receive oncological treatment according to national and international guidelines and protocols, and guidelines for high-complexity cases (including the Bone Marrow and Solid Organs Transplant Unit) with survival rates very similar to those reported by cancer centers in more developed countries.

In addition, patients with hematological diseases such as sickle cell anemia (highly prevalent in our region) and other less frequent conditions that require diagnostic studies and targeted treatments (aplasias, immunodeficiencies, coagulation disorders) are treated in the Service.

Service features

The Service has a highly qualified medical and assistance team with great human qualities, willing to do their best for patients. It receives support from all pediatric subspecialties: intensivists, infectious diseases, pneumology, gastroenterology, neurology, cardiology, etc., and specialists in various surgical areas: pediatric surgery, ophthalmology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, liver transplantation; as well as other specialties involved: pathology, molecular biology, genetics, radiotherapy, nuclear medicine, palliative care, pain management, physiatry, rehabilitation, as well as other healthcare professionals, such as nurses, psycho-oncologists, social workers, nutritionists, pediatric dentists, and therapists, in order to provide an adequate diagnosis and high- quality multidisciplinary and comprehensive treatment for every patient.

All of our oncology newly diagnosed cases and those who are awaiting for new treatment decisions are presented weekly before a medical board with attendance by every specialist involved. There is also permanent support by the psychology, oncology education and social work departments, as well as the pharmacy department, among others, in order to discuss a management plan, not only from the medical approach but also from the social and psychological point of view required in the treatment of these pathologies.

As a fundamental area of development for pediatric hemato-oncology, teaching and research are present through strategic alliances with specialized training programs in pediatrics that assist our Institution, including the Undergraduate program in Medicine of ICESI University and continuing education for sensitization in early diagnosis of cancer and management of oncological and hematological emergencies.

  • 6 pediatric hemo-oncologists (4 in the hemato-oncology unit and 2 in the transplant unit).
  • 2 pediatricians in the hospitalization area
  • 1 pediatrician coordinating the pediatric department, in charge of ensuring safe discharge of the patient.
  • 2 head nurses subspecialized in oncology.
  • 1 head nurse for integration of the administrative department to streamline procedures and properly follow-up patient processes.
  • 3 general practitioners in the infusion department.
  • 3 general practitioners in hospitalization, 2 in bone marrow transplantation and 1 in hemato-oncology.

The Unidad de Atención en Cáncer Infantil (Childhood Cancer Care Unit, in Spanish UACAI) includes:

  • Hospitalization at the specific department, Pediatrics, in the 4th floor, equipped with 20 beds, and in other hospitalization floors according to the isolation conditions required by each patient, attended by personnel qualified and trained in the medical assistance of the pediatric population with these pathologies.
  • Outpatient consultation: 2 offices with 2 specialists, in order to ensure timely assistance for new patients, in addition to necessary checks and follow-up visits.
  • Procedures room equipped with an anesthesiology service, in order to perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, such as bone marrow aspiration and biopsies, lumbar punctures and intrathecal chemotherapy.
  • Clinical service of infusion therapy, for the administration of chemotherapy in the outpatient setting, replacement treatments and specific medications, as well as transfusions, as needed by patients.
  • Recreational and educational spaces are periodically arranged for both hospitalized patients and their relatives as well as those in outpatient follow-up. They are focused on patients’ home-care, administration of medication, alarm signs at home, etc., in order to achieve better adherence, an improved response to treatment and reduce risks of complications.

Essential departments are part of Fundación Valle del Lili, such as Pediatric emergencies, available 24 hours a day, Pediatrics, the neonatal and cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, blood bank, pathology testing with flow cytometry and genetic tests, neuropathology, clinical laboratory, diagnostic imaging, radiotherapy, nuclear medicine, surgery rooms, liver transplant, bone marrow transplant, immunology and genetics, among others, that ensure a timely diagnosis, management of associated complications, and targeted and timely treatment.

The service personnel provide great humane care, with long experience and great willingness, for a customized attention. Children, as well as their families and their social environment are considered, ensuring their rights and trying to improve every child’s conditions and those of their families, in order to achieve an adequate treatment and increase survival for children with cancer.

Specialist in Pediatric Hemato-oncology