National guidelines for Ireland for the Prevention of Nosocomial Aspergillosis (January 2018) have been published on the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) website and replace the previous guidance published in 2002. The guidance is intended for use by those involved in hospital renovation and building construction or demolition activities and by clinical staff caring for patients at increased risk of aspergillosis. This includes, but is not limited to, contractors, technical services/maintenance/site foremen, design teams, HSE Estates, management of healthcare facilities, infection prevention and control teams (IPCT) and other healthcare personnel from relevant clinical area(s).
The risk of aspergillosis occurring as a complication of building or renovation works on the sites of healthcare facilities continues, particularly where there are major building projects occurring on existing hospital campuses with a significant population of immunocompromised patients.
The original guidelines have therefore been reviewed and updated taking note of important changes in practices in relation to isolation facilities, antifungal therapies and fungal diagnostics. Added to these is the emergence of Aspergillus fumigatus strains with triazole resistance. All of these topics, and more, have been addressed taking note of recent additions to the literature.
The continuing need for a multidisciplinary approach to prevention of aspergillosis is emphasised, as is the importance of good communication between departments in advance of any potentially hazardous maintenance or new works. A grading system is presented which is intended to aid risk assessment and identify appropriate preventive measures.
The HPS website details current guidance on Aspergillus outbreak prevention, preparedness and management.
Source: Epi-Insight, February 2018