SARS: What U.S. hospitals can learn from Canada

Hospital clinicians in the United States are watching with grave concern as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) — a rapidly emerging infection with unclear treatment options — strikes the health care system of their Canadian colleagues. Particularly beset is the city of Toronto, where nosocomial spread from unsuspected hospital patients set off an epidemic that has resulted in the quarantine of 9,000 people.

With sporadic but increasing SARS cases appearing in the United States, the lessons learned in Toronto can provide critical guidance for U.S. clinicians. To prepare yourself and your facility, don’t miss SARS: What U.S. Hospitals Must Learn from the Canadian Outbreak on May 6, 2003, from 2:30-3:30, EST, an audio conference program presented by Thomson American Health Consultants.

Transmission within hospitals to health care workers and patients has been clearly documented in eight Toronto hospitals. Two hospitals have been closed to all new admissions, with their staff, visitors, and patients quarantined. A Toronto long-term care facility also is under quarantine, a particular concern because the mortality rate of SARS rises with increasing age in the infected. Though numbers were still increasing, as we go to press, Toronto had some 160 SARS cases and nine deaths.

The first speaker is a physician who is dealing directly with SARS patients in Toronto and leading hospital efforts to prevent further spread to workers and patients. Andrew Simor, MD, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto and hospital epidemiologist at Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, will describe the enormous impact on the city after SARS started with one case patient returning from Hong Kong. He will discuss hospital transmission and infection control measures to prevent further spread.

Be prepared when a SARS patient walks into your ED. Learn the lessons of Toronto, and receive a comprehensive update on the U.S. situation from the program’s second speaker, Patti Grant, RN, BSN, MS, CIC, director of infection control at RHD Memorial Medical Center in Dallas. A board member of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Grant will detail the U.S. SARS situation and provide practical advice on implementing new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to prevent transmission.

An apparent new corona virus that may well have made the leap from an animal host to man, SARS has rattled the health care community since its rapid emergence from China. Many of the first cases have been in health care workers. Get the latest information on the etiology, modes of transmission, respiratory protection, protecting household contacts, and possible treatment options. At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • describe lessons learned by Canadian clinicians;
  • employ measures to prevent transmission in health care settings;
  • discuss the phenomena of "super-spreaders"
  • summarize the most current information on the etiology and mode of transmission of this emerging pathogen.

Educate your entire staff for one low fee including one hour of CE, CME, or critical care credits for all attendees. You may invite as many participants as you wish to listen for the low fee of $249. Information on obtaining audio conference instructions and continuing education forms will be in the confirmation notice, which will be mailed upon receipt of registration. Your fee also includes access to a 48-hour replay following the conference and a CD recording of the program. For information or to register, call customer service at (800) 688-2421 or contact us via e-mail at When ordering, please refer to effort code 80861.