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Updated policy offers guidance on infection prevention, control in ambulatory settings

A pediatrician sends a 3-year-old with possible pertussis to a hospital laboratory to have a specimen tested for Bordetella pertussis. Before leaving the office, however, the patient had played with several children and interacted with staff in the waiting room. Once at the lab, the patient is given a mask to wear, but only after staff realises the reason for referral to the hospital. Several other patients and staff members are exposed to the patient before he receives the mask.

This incident required a contact investigation of all who interacted with the patient, along with appropriate counselling and follow-up. Fortunately, none of the exposed contacts developed pertussis.

The updated AAP policy statement Infection Prevention and Control in Pediatric Ambulatory Settings addresses scenarios like this one. The statement, from the Committee on Infectious Diseases, is available at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/10/19/peds.2017-2857 and will be published in the November issue of Pediatrics.

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