Highlights from ACIPC Conference 2022

Posted

21st November 2022

Events and Exhibitions

Our Clinical team share their highlights from the recent ACIPC conference in Sydney. Topics include, reflections on COVID-19, the use of portable HEPA filtration and the need for improved environmental hygiene. Read on to find out more.

Over 700 in-person and 150 online delegates met in Sydney last week for the first face-to-face Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control (ACIPC) conference in three years. The theme of the meeting was ‘Leading through the expanding horizons of IPC’ and delegates were treated to a series of inspiring lectures about the future need for IPC in a context of increasing antimicrobial resistance.

Reflections on COVID-19 pandemic

A significant part of the conference agenda reflected on the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic – what worked and what were the barriers and facilitators to best practice. This was brought into sharp focus as a cruise ship with over 800 cases docked in Sydney Harbour, just around the bay from the conference centre.

The use of portable HEPA filtration

As usual, the droplet/airborne issue was prominent with Melbourne Infectious Disease Physician, Dr Kirsty Buising, providing a comprehensive review of the latest science suggesting transmission via fine particles suspended in the air and discussing potential controls, including the use of portable HEPA filtration in areas in which the ventilation is poor and cannot be readily improved.

Related article: Demystifying Portable Air Filtration Units in Healthcare

Improved environmental hygiene as the number one priority

One of the most interesting sessions was when Professor Brett Mitchell spoke on global trends and potential considerations for future work in the region. He started by asking the audience what their priorities for action were from a list of ten possible, repeating the exercise after his lecture. On both occasions, the need for improved environmental hygiene came out as the number one priority, although some switched to healthcare-associated pneumonia, following Brett’s summary of opportunities to impact what is the number one healthcare-associated infection, in almost every prevalence study internationally.

Other interesting papers included a plea from Dr Ed Raby from Melbourne to revisit contact precautions, a piece from Professor Stéphane Bouchoucha (Deakin University) on the experiences of environmental service workers in undertaking hospital cleaning and from Professor Maria Northcote (Avondale University) on the patient’s experience of healthcare-associated infections.

Sustainability and use of PPE during the pandemic

As ever, sustainability issues also came to the fore, in addition to planned papers on the topic, the mountain of PPE used during the pandemic and whether this was really warranted at that level, was a frequent comment during many of the ‘experiences’ papers.

Related article: Our highlights from ACIPC 2021 International Conference

We look forward to next year!

The delegates dispersed on Wednesday the 16th, after a stimulating and invigorating three days. We’re looking forward to the next conference which will take place in Adelaide from 14th to 16th November 2023.

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