MONTRÉAL, Sept. 26, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - Transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy or immediately after birth, infections caused by viruses or bacteria such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, cytomegalovirus (CMV), rubella, syphilis and Zika, pose multiple challenges for obstetric gynaecologists and paediatricians. These infections, far from being fully under control, can cause complications during delivery, leave their mark on a foetus or newborn, result in the death of an unborn child or develop many years after birth.
To provide more effective care for mothers, children and adolescents at risk or suffering with these infections, CHU Sainte-Justine is opening North America's first Mother and Child Infectious Diseases Centre (CIME). The centre groups together in a single location all Sainte-Justine experts involved in treating mothers and children either at risk or afflicted with congenital infections.
"Two teams currently provide care for mothers and children separately," explain the centre's co‑directors, Dr Isabelle Boucoiran, obstetric gynaecologist, and Dr Fatima Kakkar, infectious disease paediatrician. "In merging the mother and child care teams, we aim to enhance the quality and consistency of care, as well as the services offered women seeking to become pregnant, newborns, young children and adolescents."
CHU Sainte-Justine is recognized nationwide for the excellence of care and services provided in the field of materno-foetal infections. From the moment HIV/AIDS first appeared in the early 1980s, the hospital pioneered efforts to prevent the transmission of the virus from mother to child, while providing requisite care and support for the families affected. Expertise has since expanded to all infectious diseases transmissible from mother to child.
"Materno-foetal infections are here to stay, with others likely to emerge in the future," relates Dr Boucoiran. "By pooling our strengths and resources from the triple standpoint of care, research and teaching, we shall be in a better position to step up prevention and avoid transmission from mother to child." "We should also be able to provide for the early detection of greater numbers of cases, and implement care and service strategies based on leading-edge knowledge," adds Dr Kakkar.
Highly qualified interdisciplinary team
The transmission of infectious agents from mother to child represents a complex health issue requiring intervention by a number of specialists. CIME will group together a multidisciplinary team of some twenty professionals, including infectious disease paediatricians, obstetric gynaecologists, microbiologists, nurses and a number of other experts. Families, often beset with considerable stress when presented with a diagnosis of the like or when undergoing treatment, will be offered concerted, custom care plans, as well as the assistance of a social worker as required.
Additionally, the current teaching and research program will be revisited to provide for the true integration of care and services, from monitoring throughout pregnancy to follow-up in children and adolescents.
Clinical reference centre
CIME seeks to become a reference in the field of materno-foetal infections for all matters pertaining to care, prevention, research and teaching. The centre will endeavour to develop closer ties with professionals from across the healthcare network in Québec, while enhancing the sharing and transfer of knowledge.
Accordingly, CIME will be developing a website to inform patients and professionals, and raise their awareness of issues relating to transmissible infectious diseases. The site will include information about the centre, the team of professionals, as well as the different materno-foetal diseases, and the ways of recognizing them and protecting oneself accordingly. The section intended for health sector professionals will include care protocols for each of the materno-foetal infections and documentation to facilitate taking on and managing patients.
About CHU Sainte-Justine
Centre hospitalier universitaire (CHU) Sainte-Justine is the largest mother and child centre in Canada and the second largest paediatric facility in North America. Part of the broader excellence in health network (RUIS) of Université de Montréal, the centre employs 5457 individuals, including 1532 nurses and auxiliary nurses, 1000 care professionals, 520 physicians, dentists and pharmacists, 822 medical residents, 204 researchers, 411 volunteers, as well as 4416 trainees and students all disciplines combined. CHU Sainte-Justine boasts 484 beds, including 67 in the Centre de réadaptation Marie-Enfant (CRME), the only facility in Québec devoted exclusively to paediatric rehabilitation. The health promotion initiatives of CHU Sainte-Justine earned the university health centre recognition by the World Health Organization. www.chusj.org
About CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation
The mission of CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation is to engage the community and support CHU Sainte‑Justine in its pursuit of excellence and commitment to providing children and mothers with one of the highest levels of health care in the world, now and in the future. www.fondationsaintejustine.org
SOURCE Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center
For further information: and interview requests: Kilicom Public Relations, Stéphanie Quirion. [email protected], 514 260-0603, 514 845-8222 x223