About High level isolation unit
The high level isolation unit (HLIU) is designed and made to provide patients with high consequence infectious diseases, such as Ebola or other viral hemorrhagic fevers, with the best care in the safest possible environment. It consists of four double ante isolation rooms of which two can be upgraded to an ICU room if necessary.
All safety and quality requirements, for patient and employee, were taken into account in the design of the building. A few examples:
- the building has a separate ambulance hall, so that highly infectious patients can be taken to their rooms directly and without contact with other departments.
- the four HLIU isolation rooms have a double lock. In the "lock in" the protective clothing is put on the caregiver. In the "sluice out" the isolation suit is taken off again on the employee. This reduces the risk of contamination when dressing and undressing.
- a "VAR" (video assistant referee) continually watches from a distance and intervenes if an error is made, for example when putting on or taking off personal protective equipment for isolation care.
- state-of-the-art communication systems have been installed so that the patient can communicate well with the caregivers and the caregivers can understand each other well, despite the limitations of the isolation suit worn by caregivers.
- in a small lab (point-of-care) connected to the patient room, quick basic determinations can be made.
- optiflow treatment is possible in all patient rooms in the building; special oxygen lines have been laid for this purpose
- the medical condition of the patient is continuously monitored remotely to detect deterioration at an early stage without the need for a nurse to be physically present; this also avoids the risks of an emergency situation for the staff.
- the HLIU isolation rooms are upgradable to an ICU. Should the patient deteriorate to the point that ICU care is required, the patient does not need to be transported by the hospital to the ICU. The IC equipment is connected in the HLIU and IC staff comes to the HLIU.
The HLIU is ideally suited for training healthcare professionals in safety procedures related to isolation nursing of highly contagious patients. This includes physicians, nurses, infection prevention experts and others involved in the care of highly contagious patients. They learn how to dress and undress safely and also receive training focused on their specific tasks, such as preparing for diagnostics and cleaning and disinfecting the environment. During the interdisciplinary real-life scenario training, the healthcare professionals also learn how best to work together during these unique and difficult circumstances.
For more information about the possibilities, please contact Manon Tingen-Wieland, infection prevention expert: Manon.Wieland@radboudumc.nl.