- Diagnostic issues and capabilities in 48 isolation facilities in 16 European countries: data from EuroNHID surveys (2012)
- Background: Highly infectious diseases (HIDs) are defined as being transmissible from person to person, causing life-threatening illnesses and presenting a serious public health hazard. The sampling, handling and transport of specimens from patients with HIDs present specific bio-safety concerns. Findings The European Network for HID project aimed to record, in a cross-sectional study, the infection control capabilities of referral centers for HIDs across Europe and assesses the level of achievement to previously published guidelines. In this paper, we report the current diagnostic capabilities and bio-safety measures applied to diagnostic procedures in these referral centers. Overall, 48 isolation facilities in 16 European countries were evaluated. Although 81% of these referral centers are located near a biosafety level 3 laboratory, 11% and 31% of them still performed their microbiological and routine diagnostic analyses, respectively, without bio-safety measures. Conclusions: The discrepancies among the referral centers surveyed between the level of practices and the European Network of Infectious Diseases (EUNID) recommendations have multiple reasons of which the interest of the individuals in charge and the investment they put in preparedness to emerging outbreaks. Despite the fact that the less prepared centers can improve by just updating their practice and policies any support to help them to achieve an acceptable level of biosecurity is welcome.
- Infection control management of patients with suspected highly infectious diseases in emergency departments: data from a survey in 41 facilities in 14 European countries (2012)
- Background: In Emergency and Medical Admission Departments (EDs and MADs), prompt recognition and appropriate infection control management of patients with Highly Infectious Diseases (HIDs, e.g. Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers and SARS) are fundamental for avoiding nosocomial outbreaks. Methods: 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 centre for HIDs, using specifically developed checklists, during on-site visits from February to November 2009. Results: Isolation rooms were available in 34 facilities (82,9%): these rooms had anteroom in 19, dedicated entrance in 15, negative pressure in 17, and HEPA filtration of exhausting air in 12. Only 6 centres (14,6%) had isolation rooms with all characteristics. Personnel trained for the recognition of HIDs was available in 24 facilities; management protocols for HIDs were available in 35. Conclusions: Preparedness level for the safe and appropriate management of HIDs is partially adequate in the surveyed EDs and MADs.