On the 17th and 18th of May 2022, Radboud University Medical Center (Radboudumc) hosted a conference on clinical management and preparedness for patients with high-consequence communicable diseases to mark the opening of a new High Level Isolation Unit (HLIU).
This masterclass took place at Radboudumc, Nijmegen, the Netherlands and included lectures from a broad range of high-level experts.
Attendees had the opportunity to learn from opinion leaders in the field about clinical management, infection prevention and diagnostics of patients, as well as having the chance to see the new HLIU in action during a special tabletop exercise guided by experts.
Speakers on the day included:
- Prof. Dr. Aura Timen, who is head of the Department of Primary and Community Care of Radboud University Medical Center. Prof. Dr. Timen presented about the need for a High Level Isolation Unit from a public health perspective. As an expert in the area of infectious diseases, she was closely involved in the COVID-19 pandemic response in the Netherlands. Her lecture outlined the importance of HLIUs for the control of highly severe and highly transmissible diseases, drawing upon her extensive knowledge of past experiences in the Netherlands with patients suffering from severe infections.
- Alma Tostmann, PhD (Hospital Epidemiologist, Deputy Head Infection Prevention And Control) spoke about expectations for the High Level Isolation Unit from an epidemiological perspective. Dr. Tostmann delivered valuable insights as to the role of surveillance in early detection of emerging pathogens and the challenges to preventing further transmission of pathogenic viruses across the world.
- Anique Nolet of the Wouter Nolet Scholarship Fund offered a unique view into the perspectives of a Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers patient’s family. Nolet works as a doctor’s assistant in a General Practitioner’s office and is the mother of Wouter Nolet who died in November 2019 as a result of Lassa fever, which he contracted during emergency surgery while trying to save the life of a pregnant woman in Sierra Leone.
- Thibaut Danjou, who is International Sales Manager at EpiGuard offered a presentation of EpiGuard and their EpiShuttle product. EpiShuttle was developed by clinical experts with experience in providing treatment and transportation of patients with highly infectious diseases. The EpiShuttle is a single-patient isolation / transport unit which is designed to prioritise patient and clinician safety whilst allowing critical treatment to be performed.
- Richard Anthony Phd.D., who is a Senior Scientist at a Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory led a discussion about Tuberculosis transmission, detailing the genome sequencing story. Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) offers fresh opportunities in research and public health applications, providing “the ultimate resolution for strain classification to trace infection sources and transmission networks and also allows for the simultaneous prediction of the complete antimicrobial susceptibility profile of a given isolate”. Improving the diagnosis of tuberculosis has been the main focus of Dr. Anthony’s work for almost two decades.
For updates about future events hosted by Radboud UMC, visit: www.radboudumc.nl/en/education/events