Navigation Links
Aggressive Infection Control Program Protects Cancer Patients from Acquiring Clinic-Based H1N1 Influenza
Date:12/18/2009

SEATTLE, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite a 100-fold increase in H1N1 influenza cases in the Seattle area during spring 2009, an aggressive infection control program to protect immunocompromised cancer patients and thorough screening measures resulted in no corresponding increase in H1N1 cases among the total patient population at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, according to a new study by researchers and physicians at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the SCCA.

The findings appear in this week's online version of the journal Blood. In the paper, authors Corey Casper, M.D., Janet Englund, M.D. and Michael Boeckh, M.D., detail how patients with blood cancers are screened, diagnosed and treated for H1N1 infections and then how the SCCA's infection control program led to successful suppression of a potentially serious pandemic among clinic patients and staff.

"Our experience shows that aggressive infection control procedures can minimize transmission within the immunocompromised patient population and also reduce acquisition from sources outside the system," the authors concluded.

The SCCA's infection control program is unique in that it is devoted entirely to outpatient infection control among cancer patients, according to Casper, a researcher in the Hutchinson Center's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute and medical director of the SCCA's infection control program.

"Lessons learned here are important ones because the majority of cancer care is provided in an outpatient setting," Casper said. "Outpatient cancer care poses more challenges when it comes to protecting patient health because the environment is less controlled than that of a hospital."

The SCCA infection control program follows recommendations set forth by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The cornerstone of the program, which begins Oct. 1 and runs through April 30 each year, is early identification of individuals with potential influenza infection. Each person who enters the SCCA outpatient clinic building is met with hand hygiene stations and information about respiratory infections and respiratory etiquette. Licensed practical nurses or volunteers administer an 11-point symptom survey to all who enter clinical areas. A sticker color coded for the day of the week documents the completion of the survey. No individual without a sticker is admitted to clinical areas and all employees are empowered to enforce the policy.

Patients who have respiratory symptoms have their appointments rescheduled; those who cannot be rescheduled are given masks and placed in either an isolation area or private room until they can be assessed by their clinical care team. Isolation lists are maintained electronically as part of each patient's medical record.

Staff members with any symptom of respiratory infection are furloughed until they are symptom free. Respiratory virus testing is offered to staff who have minimal residual symptoms but feel well enough to work after an absence of more than four days; a negative test allows them to return to work.

A comprehensive isolation plan was developed and widely distributed for outpatient and inpatient facilities (SCCA adult cancer patients receive inpatient care at the University of Washington Medical Center and SCCA pediatric inpatients are cared for at Seattle Children's). Adherence to hand hygiene and compliance with isolation guidelines are monitored regularly. An electronic surveillance system allows for real-time quantification of the numbers of patients and staff who are infected with influenza, which is reviewed daily by the infection control team.

The infection control program is rounded out with the requirement that staff receive annual influenza vaccinations (or sign a written declination waiver), a sick leave policy that is tolerant of absences for respiratory illnesses, redundant work plans for staff at all levels should absences be required, helping families and caregivers identify resources for furloughing caregivers and a plan for giving antiviral drugs to exposed patients and staff.

The authors urge that healthcare institutions caring for immunocompromised patients require that all of their staff receive influenza vaccination as key goal to control influenza.

While vaccination is a primary prevention tool, healthcare staff who have significant exposure to confirmed cases of influenza who have not been vaccinated or who received a vaccination less than three weeks prior to the time of exposure should be considered for preventive antiviral therapy, the authors said.

The National Institutes of Health funded the study.

At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit fhcrc.org.


    Media Contacts:
    Dean Forbes
    206-667-2896
    dforbes@fhcrc.org

This news release was issued on behalf of Newswise(TM). For more information, visit http://www.newswise.com.

SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center


'/>"/>
SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Frequent Prostate Screens Fail to Improve Aggressive Cancer Diagnoses
2. Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis Launches Aggressive Ad Campaign Directed at United States Congress
3. AWT Management Announce Aggressive Growth and Acquisition Strategy
4. Novel strategy under study for aggressive leukemia
5. Prostate cancer more likely to return in blacks than whites, but the disease is not more aggressive
6. Mayo Clinic tests novel vaccine for aggressive brain tumors
7. Aggressively Treating Cardiac Risk Factors May Reverse Ischemia
8. Breast cancer is more aggressive in African-American women
9. Gene Variant Tied to More Aggressive Prostate Cancer
10. Study finds gene linked to aggressive prostate cancer
11. Even tiny breast tumors can be aggressive and may require maximum therapy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... which specializes in thought leadership , media relations, social media, content marketing ... that will be powered through Act-On, an intuitive marketing automation platform. , Rosica ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... Justice jointly issued a letter to withdraw previous guidance issued by ... gender identity. The guidance issued in May 2016 by the Obama Administration came ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) ... Meeting. KLS is a longtime supporter of the event. , "We are pleased ... Sponsor," said Dr. Bob Havlik, 2017 ACPA President. "KLS Martin has a long track ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Mass. (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... as an approved content provider for the National Institute for Health and ... and social care-related organizations in the National Health Service (NHS) to search, order ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... , ... ERT, a global data and technology company that ... leading clinical development service provider, has selected ERT’s Trial Oversight suite as its ... to an array of circumstances including the use of multiple data capture modalities ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 24, 2017 Juan ... & Associates PC , a boutique securities firm headquartered ... York City , announces that a class action ... Massachusetts  against Inotek Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: ... the Company,s securities between July 23, 2015 and December 30, ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... NEW YORK , Feb. 23, 2017 Report ... The report provides separate comprehensive analytics for the US, ... Europe , Asia-Pacific , ... estimates and forecasts are provided for the period 2015 through ... markets. Market data and analytics are derived from primary and ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... -- ITL Limited, ( ASX : ITD ), une société ... les excellents résultats semestriels clos le 31 décembre 2016 ... complète « Résultats et mise à jour sur la croissance ... Faits marquants ... en hausse de 104 %) Bénéfice par ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: