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Infection Control Policy

INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL POLICY FOR CYSTIC FIBROSIS CANADA HOSTED EVENTS OR MEETINGS

INTRODUCTION

The health and wellbeing of people with cystic fibrosis (CF) is of paramount concern to Cystic Fibrosis Canada. The purpose of Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s Infection Prevention and Control Policy is to minimize the exposure of people with CF to harmful bacteria at Cystic Fibrosis Canada hosted or sponsored events and meetings.

GUIDELINES

Guidelines have been developed to minimize the exposure of people with CF to infection and to protect their health when taking part at Cystic Fibrosis Canada events and meetings. The guidelines are to be strictly followed at events and meetings organized by Cystic Fibrosis Canada, including those of its chapters.

As a matter of principle, Cystic Fibrosis Canada staff and volunteers are asked to anticipate possible situations that could bring people with CF together in close proximity, and people with CF are advised to avoid events held in confined spaces, where it is much harder to stay away from, or to avoid being close to, other people with CF.

The guidelines also apply to those who have been transplanted, since there is still a risk of acquiring new infections or of transmitting infections colonizing cystic fibrosis cells that remain in the nose, throat and sinuses.

OUTDOOR EVENTS

In an open air environment, there is less concern for person-to-person transmission of infections, but travelling with other people with CF in a car, or meeting them socially increases the level of risk.

People with CF may attend Cystic Fibrosis Canada hosted or sponsored outdoor events but are advised to maintain a distance of at least six feet (about two meters) from other individuals with CF at all times. Self-disclosure as a person with CF is voluntary. The organizer(s) of Cystic Fibrosis Canada hosted or sponsored outdoor events may assist with voluntary self-disclosure through the provision of items such as clothing apparel, stickers or wristbands.

Attendance by people with CF at Cystic Fibrosis Canada hosted or sponsored outdoor events are at the individuals’ own risk.

The following guidelines provide advice on how to minimize exposure by people with cystic fibrosis to harmful bacteria.

  • Follow universal infection control precautions as instructed by your CF health care providers, including frequent use of hand sanitization and practice of good cough hygiene.
  • Do not travel to and from events with others with CF (unless they are siblings or parent and child with CF).
  • Avoid activities associated with events that encourage crowding.
  • Always be aware that there may be other people with CF present at the event, including those with B. cepacia, epidemic Pseudomonas, MRSA and other potentially harmful infections.
  • Be aware that young children with cystic fibrosis are usually less vigilant about observing proper infection prevention control practices.

INDOOR MEETINGS AND EVENTS

Close contact between people with cystic fibrosis is much more likely to occur at indoor events, which increases the risk of cross infection. Therefore, only one person with CF may be invited to attend a Cystic Fibrosis Canada hosted or sponsored indoor event or meeting. The decision on who is to be selected to attend is at the discretion of the event or meeting organizer(s). In the case where a person with CF has been selected or invited to attend a Cystic Fibrosis Canada hosted or sponsored indoor event or meeting, the organizer(s) shall make every reasonable effort to ensure no other persons with CF attend that indoor event or meeting.

Attendance by any person with CF at a Cystic Fibrosis Canada hosted or sponsored indoor event or meeting is at the individual’s own risk as there may be others with CF who may attend despite this policy. Any one attending a meeting or event must assume that there may be people with CF present at the meeting or event.

Cystic Fibrosis Canada advocates for personal but informed choice. The organization values the contributions of people with CF in helping us achieve our mission; however it must also act on information based on medical evidence. Cystic Fibrosis Canada continues to explore all possible means of permitting the participation of people with CF at its events and meetings.

Download a printer-friendly version of the policy here.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

For more information about the revised Infection Prevention and Control Policy, please review the Frequently Asked Questions.

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