Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialists are involved in the diagnosis and management of a wide variety of communicable diseases including respiratory infections such as influenza or SARS, HIV/AIDS, Meningitis and bacterial infections, such as flesh eating disease.
Specialists work closely with other physicians, patient care managers and health care professionals to limit the spread of infection within the Hospital. They establish policy on sterilization practices and advise physicians in the event of wound infections. Pediatric infectious disease specialists are also a key part of the planning process during the winter months, when typically the Stollery Children's Hospital sees high numbers of young patients admitted with RSV, influenza or a range of respiratory infections. Procedures concerning the management of these highly infectious patients are developed and implemented by pediatric infectious disease specialists.
The third mandate of Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialists is to work with Alberta Health Service's Medical Officer of Health and Public Health Division to control the risk and spread of communicable diseases in the community. They do this by working with and advising various levels of government on the necessary prevention measures, such as flu shots and vaccination programs. In addition to working with and advising government, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialists also regularly work with pediatricians and family physicians, as well as Alberta Health Service's primary care division. This ensures those health care professionals working in the community and in the city's emergency rooms are well advised of the current trends in infectious disease and are prepared to manage those patients.
Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialists assist with the management of patients who have compromised immune systems. For example children who have had an organ transplant, children with cancer, intensive care and cardiac surgery patients are all the types of patients that Infectious Disease Specialists may be asked to assist with at one time or another.