Global Clinical Networking and Pandemic Influenza
Walunj A., Thomson G., Gent N., Dunning J., Brett S.
From June 2009 to February 2010, the Health Protection Agency hosted a clinical network including regular teleconferences, with the aim of sharing clinical experiences of the international participants about pandemic influenza. The minutes of the teleconferences over a two month period were analysed to identify clinical themes. A systematic literature search was then undertaken to identify peer-reviewed publications that either supported or refuted these themes. Observations relating to patient demographics, clinical features and clinical management were supported by published literature. Younger adults and children were more likely to be infected, but young adults were more likely to require intensive care. Obesity, pregnancy and asthma were confirmed as risk factors for severe influenza illness. Extra-pulmonary organ dysfunction was common, often requiring specific interventions. The benefit of certain ventilatory and non-ventilatory interventions remains unclear, although they were frequently used. This global clinical networking model facilitated the real-time exchange of valuable clinical information and provided the basis for clinical practice notes.