Reply To: Desensitization

  • Tracy Dankanich

    October 7, 2022 at 12:30 pm

    Hi Ryan,

    In our system, we have a few PICU RNs whom have completed Aphon course for biotherapy and some have completed BMT class and spent a month on a BMT unit for experience with BMT pts.

    This enables the PICU trained RNs to administer while pts are in the ICU and also provides familiarity if pt requires a second PICU admission along with any critical care needs pts may have.

    Only occasionally do Hem/Onc nurses have to come to PICU ,only when Aphon trained PICU nurses are not available. 

    Any further insight I can provide I would be happy to


    Tracy L Dankanich
    Buffalo, NY
    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-06-2022 03:18 PM
    From: Ryan Profetto
    Subject: Desensitization

    Hi all,

    It seems like this question has been asked in the past, but I would love to get some more current answers than were on the previous threads. When we identify the need for a patient to get a chemo desensitization, their initial dose is given in the PICU, but 2 Heme/Onc RNs are required to hang each bag and depending on the agent: flush and take down the bag (sometimes the protocol calls for up to 4 bags) which is very resource intensive and leaves the floor short for a considerable amount of time.

    My question is, if a patient receives a successful first desensitization in the ICU, do any institutions perform subsequent desensitization protocols on the heme/onc unit? Is there a certain number of “successful” desensitizations that must be done before considering moving them to the floor? And what ratios do you staff the patient in… 2:1, 1:1? Just looking to benchmark what other institutions are doing so we can try to optimize our resource utilization.


    Ryan Profetto, BSN, RN, CPHON, BMTCN
    Clinical Nurse II
    UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital
    Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Blood and Marrow Transplant
    San Francisco, CA