IVIG Infusion - Patients with no masks - CLL Support

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IVIG Infusion - Patients with no masks


I attended the chemo ward today for my IVIG infusion, the first in 5 months. I suspended this 5 months ago in line with the CLLForum's Recommendations of reducing the risk of CLL patients contracting COVID.

Because it had been 5 months since my last infusion, I had to go through the ramp up procedure (started at 24ml/hr rising to 384ml/hr) which took 4.5 hrs which would have normally been only 50 minutes.

I was initially place in a 4 bed side room, where there were 2 patients and one visitor that didn't have masks covering their mouth/nose (they were pulled down below their chin). I mentioned this to the nurse who implied she would have a word with the patients/visitor, but nothing was down within about 15 minutes. I then found one of the senior Staff Nurses and appraised her of the situation and she immediately addressed the offenders.

The offending patients/visitor were in their 60's, so I was very surprised as to their lack of regard to the rules. Also surprised that the hospital staff were not enforcing, I supposed they have become a little complacent, and therefore overlook these minor misdemeanours.

20 Replies

Sorry to hear that Robert, and I am also surprised that a visitor was allowed in. You would think your fellow patients would have had more sense, especially with the rapidly rising figures.


RobertCLL in reply to mrsjsmith


I hadn't thought of that. I have just checked the hospital policy, it states:

Unfortunately, due to limited space and the need to adhere to social

distancing measures, we ask that patients attend appointments alone

where possible. Exemptions include children, patients with carers and for

compassionate reasons - please discuss this with the department.

However, the patient was not on an infusion so may have been there for another reason. Also the visitor could have been a driver, but in any case he might not have needed to be on the ward.

mrsjsmith in reply to RobertCLL


I only know because I have a friend who hasn’t been allowed to go to appointments with her father. And in clinic I have only seen one carer for a wheelchair user.

Like you I don’t like making waves, but I may well start soon.

Robert, from what you describe this is more than a minor misdemeanour, it's the kind of thing that has led to Covid's resurgence.

Disregard of hospital rules PLUS jeopardising your safety as a clinically vulnerable person. In my local NHS trust, visitors must wear a face mask all the time inside hospital, and in any case would not be allowed in the same room as a CLL patient. Hospital staff should have prevented the situation from arising and I would have made a formal complaint.

You are right. However, I am not one to create waves. The situation was addressed in the end.

Sorry people are not respectful and wearing masks. I go to UCSD in San Diego and only patients are allowed in the hospital and infusion center.

My best to you.

Good for you for opening your mouth and persisting !

Too many have become complacent and frustrated at having to remind and/ or admonish the violators and don’t want to risk a confrontation ..

Unfortunately WE wind up paying the price when others don’t adhere to the proper wearing of masks ......

people who wear the masks under their chin stretch the ear parts and then when they pull the mask up it’s too loose and falls down under their nose .....It just doesn’t make sense !

bkoffmanCLL CURE Hero

Not appropriate.

When I went for my final cancer check only patients themselves allowed in masked, temperatures checked, hand gel, and more than required spacing. Everyone masked . I felt quite safe, hope all hospitals are being so careful now.

Up to us to raise awareness if necessary our lives depend on it.


RobertCLL in reply to Bubnojay

After reading the comments above I feel that I should have done more. I will be more proactive on my next visit.

AnneHill in reply to RobertCLL

The hospital I go to has masks and gel in the foyer. The infusions are given in a unit specifically for ivig, chemo and other infusions.

I was never impressed that in the past I had to wait in a room full of people waiting for bloodtests.

Now there are only about 4 people waiting and 2 are in the corridor. The floor is marked out so that you dont get close to the receptionist and she is wearing a mask.

When Its my turn to go through to the unit my temperature is checked. Everyone wears a mask. Nurses also wear visors. There is hand gel on the tables next to each table.

We are always cared for but attention is paid to hygiene as always.

Not always easy to do especially if stressed you will be prepared if more visits planned. Wishing you better days ahead. Good luck.


The masks are of no importance if the person is at a distance. And if they did have the virus, the probability is that you need to have more than a few seconds of conversation close up for catching it. A brief conversation usually does not lead to contagion, according to experts, but if the person coughs or spits, then it can happen, so in that case a mask is useful. Social distancing is much more important than a mask. I get very ill feeling when wearing one, as oxygen is not sufficient for me, with my asthma. I just sit at a distance. I would feel very angry if someone forced me to put on a mask, if I was not sitting close to anyone. I feel very sad when I see tired looking little children returning from school with their mom, in the outdoors in sun, wearing a mask which is entirely unnecessary, and possibly can lead to getting cold.

RobertCLL in reply to onu1tadi2

I appreciate your comments and your situation, but the rules are the rules. In the UK if you are unable to wear a mask there is exemption scheme/badge that identifies you as being unable to wear a mask.

AnneHill in reply to RobertCLL

We have to look after ourselves because there are many others who are looking after themselves and have no consideration for others. I have lost patience. Why cant people just do as they are told. Surely when we go out we can wear a mask, social distance and wash hands properly along with using hand gel.

Numbers are going up dramatically . Make sure you wear your mask and whilst you have your ivig ask others to social distance.

Like you I dont like to cause trouble but later I wish I had.

Hopefully next time things will be better. Anne uk

KatieBlue in reply to onu1tadi2

The CDC keeps changing its covid guidelines and information on aerosolized or not. Doctors’ and researchers’ posts I’ve read indicate the virus can remain in the air longer and travel further distances than originally believed. It is also possible for the virus to get spread through air handling systems. So masks *are* of importance and why most hospitals strictly adhere to mask mandates.

I’m sure there are others who may offer conflicting opinions from those, but from my perspective there are still too many unknowns. My preference is to err on the side of caution and possibly be wrong rather than vice versa and be wrong.

I skipped my 4 week IVIG appointments in April May June and July due to the covid exposure risk. Unfortunately my IGG levels dropped so low that my oncologist told me to get restarted. I have now had two infusion appointments at the UAB Kirklin Clinic where mask rules are strictly enforced along with temperature checks at entry. Visitors are allowed in the waiting area but not in the infusion room. A big improvement is the infusion clinic had recently been moved to a remodeled floor with curtained individual infusion booths.

I get IVIG infusions at UM in the US. Utmost precautions are taken and each patient has their own room. Being high risk, I am so aware of social distancing, etc. I also skipped a month. Wasn’t good for me.

I recently went to the local cancer center and a patient in the waiting room had hers below her nose! And one of the staff that came out for a patient did not say a thing. I looked directly at her long enough however that she pulled it up so she must have known what she should have been doing especially there. If she had not I would have made a complaint and left the room. Everyone at work, family, friends ALL know, they must wear a mask around me no matter what. I'm not getting ill, going into the hospital, risking my health for anyone that won't take care of themselves and others.

I see people take off their masks in the store, and in the hospital. I say "put your mask on!" and it usually works. There is no excuse for not keeping it on, I am sure the people in the hospital get tired of trying to enforce it, but when I was at the cancer clinic the other day a man sat down 4 ft from me and took his mask off.

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