Editor-in-Chief: Alaa Abd-Elsayed, MD, PhD
BACKGROUND: Intrathecal drug delivery systems (IDDS) may pose additional restrictions on terminal cancer patients in their end-of-life planning. The patient provided HIPAA compliant consent for the inclusion of their clinical information in this report.
CASE REPORT: A 62-year-old male with recurrent metastatic spindle cell carcinoma to the ribs and thoracolumbar junction with vertebral compression fracture had an IDDS implanted to manage cancer-related pain. The patient had approached a funeral home to plan his last rites with a preference for cremation. However, the funeral home advised the patient that special precautions were not required for cremation with an IDDS.
CONCLUSION: The medical device disposal process can be improved through formal communication between the medical team members and the funeral home directors. Device disposal education can ensure safe disposal and prevent cremation-related adverse events.
KEY WORDS: Intrathecal drug delivery systems, palliative care, end of life, cremation