Dr. Hinduja Named Medical Director of Anemia Clinic

Anish Hinduja, MD, has been named medical director of Shore Health System’s Anemia Clinic. The clinic is open to patients at Shore Regional Cancer Center in Easton and in the outpatient chemotherapy suite at Dorchester General Hospital in Cambridge.

Anemia, a condition in which the red blood cell count in the body is low, can be caused by several factors. The presence of anemia can cause fatigue, shortness of breath upon exertion and low blood pressure. The condition can also strain the heart as it impairs oxygen delivery to the organs and tissues.

As a nephrologist on the Shore Health System medical staff, Dr. Hinduja treats patients with all forms of kidney disease. “The kidney makes a hormone called erythropoietin, which stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells,” he explains. “When the function of the kidneys is impaired, the lack of erythropoietin production leads to the development of anemia.”

In addition to chronic kidney disease, individuals with certain other types of chronic illnesses develop anemia. People receiving cancer related drug therapy can also become anemic as they experience reduced production or lack of response to erythropoietin.

The Anemia Clinic is a resource for individuals who qualify to receive erythropoietin stimulating agents (ESA) to help manage their anemia. Dr. Hinduja explains, “This medication is a man-made form of the human hormone erythropoietin and helps reduce the need for repeated blood transfusions in severely anemic individuals.”

Patients who come to the Anemia Clinic are referred by their primary care physician or other medical specialists such as a nephrologist or a medical oncologist.

As medical director for the Anemia Clinic, Dr Hinduja ensures that patients are receiving ESA under the latest prescribing guidelines. He also oversees the quality of the patient care services, and serves as a liaison between the community, referring physicians and his colleagues at Shore Health System.

“Once a patient is referred to our clinic, we will primarily be responsible for their anemia management while they are receiving an ESA” Dr. Hinduja explains. “The clinic team will educate patients about ESA and its side effects, screen routinely for nutritional deficiencies that may be contributing to the anemia, and treat iron deficiency in order to ensure that the medication works effectively and helps boost blood cell production.”

Patients receiving ESA therapy will come to the Anemia Clinic regularly for their injections and will have regular blood tests done to monitor their red blood cell levels to ensure that it is maintained within an appropriate range. “Getting the most out of these life-saving drugs is a complex process,” Dr. Hinduja says. “As long as we can maintain their blood cell levels within a healthy range, our patients will feel better and experience a higher quality of life even when facing serious conditions such a kidney disease and cancer.”

The Shore Health System Anemia Clinic at Shore Regional Cancer Center is located at 509 Idlewild Avenue in Easton. The Cambridge clinic is based at Dorchester General Hospital, 300 Byrn Street. For more information, call Shore Regional Cancer Center, 410-822-1000, ext. 5355 and Dorchester General Hospital, 410-228-5511, ext. 8229.