Working Life: Dr Clodagh Keohane, consultant haematologist at MUH

Working Life: Dr Clodagh Keohane, consultant haematologist at MUH

Dr Clodagh Keohane, consultant haematologist, Mercy UniversityHospital (MUH) Cork.

6.30am

I start my day with a cup of coffee before hauling the children out of bed and getting them ready for ‘Super-Granny’. I am so lucky to live next door to my mum. I cycle to work along the river, hoping it won’t rain.

8am

My work day starts with email correspondence or an early multidisciplinary team meeting, which is so important in cancer care. Then it’s onto a ward round of my patients who require in-house treatment.

9am

I meet newly diagnosed patients in my Myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN/blood cancer) clinic. Patients with an MPN need lifelong specialist follow-up for blood-count monitoring to direct treatments and watch out for side effects.

Many of my patients are very young and it can be so frightening having a malignant diagnosis at a young age.

MPNs are associated with a huge symptom burden and a lot of time is spent with my clinical nurse specialist educating patients on how to manage symptoms as well as managing sideeffects of medications.

1.30pm

I have soup or sandwich — homemade, if I’m organised — and more coffee.

2pm

I often attend a clinical trials meeting either in MUH or Cork University Hospital as I endeavour to increase the research projects for MPN in Ireland.

I am in the process of opening an important international study looking at the causes of why someone develops an MPN, which is still unknown.

3pm

I head to my day ward where I perform bone marrow biopsies which are very important in the diagnosis of MPNs, as well as giving chemotherapies and blood transfusions.

These treatments are often required if the disease worsens and progress towards leukaemia.

I report on these bone marrows in the laboratory where I have commitments as a haematologist.

5.30pm

I phone in for a teleconference with MPN Voice, the international patient support group. We’re keen to set up an Irish support group and buddy system to promote and support our Irish MPN patients.

I’m also health spokesperson for Your Blood Matters MPN Awareness Campaign, which is supported by Novartis.

6.30pm

I tear home to see my boys and focus on the important things in their lives, like who built the best Lego fire station today.

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