Getting My Infusion

When I realized that my Ocrevus infusion was scheduled shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak and initial uproar (scheduled for mid-April), I began to panic. Since I work in a hospital and am around germs constantly, I was not so much worried about being in the hospital to receive my medicine… I was mainly worried about not being able to get it at all.

With almost all elective procedures being put on hold, I was terrified that they would stop outpatient infusions completely. Therefore, I decided to call my neurologist and propose that we move up my infusion a few weeks to get it in and over with before things get worse from a virus standpoint. He agreed with that proposal and helped speed up my prior-authorization approval, and I was able to get my infusion about two weeks early.

Before I could even make it to the elevators to head up to the clinic on the morning of my infusion,  I was greeted with a mask and was directed to the forehead scanner to get my temperature taken. All of the hospital staff that I encountered on my walk up to the MS clinic from the front entrance were in masks and some were even wearing gloves. Once I arrived in the clinic, I was greeted again with a staff wearing masks and gloves, and we went about our business as usual performing the normal intake tasks.

I was directed to my infusion bay, away from others being infused, and was told that I could take my mask off, but I decided to keep it on just to be safe. The nurses and doctors that I encountered made sure that I was comfortable, that I understood why these precautions were being taken, and made sure I understood everything about the COVID-19 virus as it related to MS. I was told my risk for the virus was no higher than anyone else with a normal immune system, but to just be wary of any unusual symptoms following this dose of Ocrevus.

My space was wiped down with anti-bacterial wipes a few times during my infusion, and I was provided hand sanitizer as needed. The infusion center was quite empty for a Wednesday, but the nurses stated that that was because patients did not want to come in due to virus risk. After my experience getting infused mid-outbreak, I can honestly say that it was so worth it for me. My hospitals took all the appropriate precautions and id everything and anything to ensure I was safe.
It is a scary time for all of us, but it does not mean your infusions have to stop… they just might have to be altered a little.

Editor’s Note: The Society continues to be there for people affected by MS. For the latest information and resources related to COVID-19, please visit the Society’s Coronavirus Resources Page. Find additional resources through our Ask an MS Expert webinar series.
Tags COVID-19, Treatment      2

Jenny Goodwin

Jenny lives in Chicago and works as a clinical applications analyst at one of the largest county hospitals in the country. She was diagnosed with MS in 2016 and has not let the disease get in her way. She is dedicated to spreading the word about MS and helping those who are newly diagnosed navigate life with MS.