In emergency and medical admission departments (EDs and MADs), prompt recognition and appropriate infection control management of patients with highly infectious diseases (e.g. viral hemorrhagic fevers and SARS) are fundamental for avoiding nosocomial outbreaks.
The EuroNHID (European Network for Highly Infectious Diseases) project collected data from 41 EDs and MADs in 14 European countries, located in the same facility as a national/regional referral centter for highly infectious diseases, using specifically developed checklists, during onsite visits from February to November 2009.
Isolation rooms were available in 34 facilities (82.9 percent); these rooms had anteroom in 19, dedicated entrance in 15, negative pressure in 17, and HEPA filtration of exhausting air in 12. Only six centers (14.6 percent) had isolation rooms with all characteristics. Personnel trained for the recognition of highly infectious diseases was available in 24 facilities; management protocols for highly infectious diseases were available in 35.
Francesco Fusco, of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome,Italy, and colleagues conclude that the preparedness level for the safe and appropriate management of highly infectious diseases is "partially adequate" in the surveyed EDs and MADs. The research was published in BMC Infectious Diseases.
Reference: Fusco FM, et al. Infection control management of patients with suspected highly infectious diseases in emergency departments: data from a survey in 41 facilities in 14 European countries. BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12:27 doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-27.