COVID-19 Preparedness for Caregivers of Brain Tumor Patients with Neuroendocrine Conditions

HomeNewsCOVID-19 Preparedness for Caregivers of Brain Tumor Patients with Neuroendocrine Conditions




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If you are a parent/caregiver of a child with neuroendocrine side effects of a brain tumor, the concern over the coronavirus (COVID-19) doesn’t just include worries that he or she may contract the virus. There could potentially be a shortage of medications and concerns over management of the chronic conditions that sometimes require emergency department visits in a normal health climate.

We had an opportunity to speak with some neuroendocrine doctors on the topic of being prepared in these situations. Here is their advice:

  1. Be sure to have a 30-day supply of medication on hand.

  2. Prepare for prior authorizations to take longer than typically expected. Insurance companies will be swamped with requests which can create a backlog. Plan ahead if a medication or test requires a prior authorization.

  3. Should a potential ER visit be required, have your child’s provider call ahead to alert the ER staff of the issue. If the situation allows for it, call ahead as well, to be prepared so you are aware of the ER capacity status.

  4. Your child’s endocrinologist may be able to manage your child’s care along with your local hospital to avoid hospitalizations in larger metropolitan hospitals that may be at max capacity. It might be worth having a conversation about a backup plan with your child’s doctor so you are prepared in the event of an emergency.

  5. Have a letter on hand from your child’s endocrinologist with instructions on medication management to present to the ER upon arrival.

  6. Have a sheet to hand over in triage with important information like conditions, insurance, medications, doctor’s contact information. It is not recommended to bring a binder or anything more than one piece of paper for quick reference.

  7. There have been a lot of questions about steroid stress dosing. If your child has adrenal insufficiency, consult your child’s endocrinologist on stress dosing protocols in reference to COVID-19.

There is already some medication shortages being reported. If your child’s medication is not due for a refill, call the pharmacy to ensure they will try to stock it or opt to pay out of pocket if possible. GoodRx is an app that reports pricing and provides discounts if you are unable to fill the prescription prior to 30 days.

Always consult your child’s doctor should questions or concerns arise. For up-to-date and reliable COVID-19 information, visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website.