Post EBMT Istanbul Update

Posted on: 20 Jul 2015

Post 2015 Congress Bulletin; EBMT Nurses Group

The 31th Meeting of the Nurses Group began with a successful pre-meeting Education Day on Sunday where over 202 nurses attended from 41 countries. Experts from the field of nursing, medicine, psychology and JACIE operational management presented important nursing care issues including isolation, exercise following Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT), infections, graft failure and transfer of patients to Intensive Care Units. The Education Day was video registered and is available for further consultation on the EBMT website in the nurses area.

Stem cell transplantation has moved forward over the years and we now have a greater understanding of what is a complex treatment approach. Increasing numbers of patients are undergoing transplantation and cell therapy and the nursing care that accompanies HSCT, needs to be delivered in a safe and high quality manner. This year’s main conference, with almost 500 nurses attending from 43 counties, has been focused on patient’s safety and our role as nurses in minimizing the risk of errors that can occur. The presentation ‘Do we all do it the same way?’ – included a short documentary with nurses and doctors from a variety of European transplant centers, talking about patients safety and nursing in their centre. The Key Note Speaker for the Opening Lecture was Arto Helevuo, from Finland – an airline pilot who is an expert in Risk Management, talking about the importance of safety and linking in examples from alternative perspectives. The NG Research Committee also centered on safety with the session ‘Are Our Patients Safe in Research?’.

The Nurses Group program continued with two new approaches to sessions. The first was with the ‘Made Easy’ sessions – this year focusing on ‘laboratory’, which provided the basics of Full Blood Count, Hepatic & Renal Function and the ABO System, and also the ‘Making Sense Of….’ session covering GvL effect and immunological reconstitution, HLA, and Minimal Residual Disease. These sessions were developed in order to provide a foundation for inexperienced nurses and a recap for more experienced nurses attending EBMT, and were very well received.

As in previous years, the program provided focused sessions allowing attendees to widen their knowledge base in care of donors care, pre-transplant issues, paediatric care, apheresis, infections, pre-transplant issues, disease updates and complications. Whilst this year we also had sessions covering the changing boundaries of care, eHealth, and protecting the workforce. One of the sessions this year was dedicated to the collaborative project between EBMT/ MASCC (Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer)/ ISOO (International Society of Oral Oncology) with the presentation of the position paper on basic oral care for hematology-oncology patients and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation recipients. The traditional nurses Joint session with physicians were focused on adolescents and young adults with PID; from medical challenges to psycho-social issues related to treating this age group in the BMT setting.

The EBMT NG Distinguished Merit Award is an important feature of the Congress as this allows us to recognize and acknowledge nurses working within the field of blood and marrow transplantation who have demonstrated professionalism and advocacy for nursing. This year’s 7th Distinguished Merit Award was awarded to Caroline Bompoint, who has been active with EBMT NG since 2010 for promoting the nursing profession and particularly the role of transplant coordinator and for successfully setting up the French National EBMT Nurses Group.

Following last year nurses’ Satellite Symposium on Veno-Occlusive Disease (VOD) and development of a VOD learning programme supported by Gentium/Jazz Pharmaceuticals, this year the Satellite Symposium “Don’t Let HSCT Complications Stand in the Way of Recovery” was greatly appreciated, with members of the faculty involved in the program development presenting risk factors and complications in affecting recovery.

The prize for best oral presentation was awarded to Hilda Rip-Mekelenkamp and colleagues from the Netherlands, for their presentation on “Parental experiences and perspectives of end-of-life decision-making in allogeneic paediatric stem cell transplant”. The effort made by the whole team to manage this difficult emotional subject with good research project design would help nurses to give more insight in the care we provide to the parents. The best poster award was given to Fameeda Palk and colleagues from the UK for their poster on “Safe discharge of a non-English speaking family from the international paediatric unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital”.