Infusion Therapy

Infusion Therapy

As Mark Croghan steps through the doors of Memorial Hospital, he is greeted with smiles at the Specialty Clinic. He has come every week for the past 16 years to receive infusion therapy. “I was diagnosed with Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency back in 2000. It affects my lungs and I currently have a 40 percent lung capacity,” Mark shared as he prepares for his treatment.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute website, Alpha-1 antitrypsin, also called AAT, is a protein made in the liver that travels through the blood stream. It helps protect the body’s organs from the harmful effects of other proteins. The lungs are one of the main organs that the AAT protein protects. AAT deficiency occurs if the AAT proteins made in the liver aren’t the right shape. They get stuck inside the liver cells and can’t get into the bloodstream. 

“It is an inherited disease,” Mark explained, “The Prolastin intravenous injection I receive each week tells my blood cells what to do so the deficiency doesn’t destroy my lungs.” Mark is doing well with the infusion therapy. His condition has stayed level for 16 years which prolongs the need for a lung transplant.

Mark appreciates the commitment of MHCS to provide the best patient care possible. When he was first diagnosed, his treatments were given in a patient room taking two hours to complete. “Throughout the years of my therapy there have been facility improvements and advancements in medical technology. The designated infusion therapy rooms are very comfortable with easy access for both the patient and the staff,” Mark said, “Today, the whole experience takes less than 30 minutes to complete.”  

Mark is thankful that this service is offered at Memorial Hospital. “I can’t imagine driving to Lincoln every week for infusion therapy. At another facility, I think I’d just be a number. The staff members here treat me like family. We visit during the procedure and share stories about what is going on in our lives. The care I receive is very personal.“

Infusion therapy at the MHCS Specialty Clinic helps patients like Mark maintain a quality of life they might not otherwise experience. “I think very highly of the staff and services. I’m grateful for my medical family at MHCS,” Mark said.