The 30th Anniversary of the Nurses Group started with a successful pre-meeting Education Day on Sunday. Nursing and medical expertise presented on aspects of management of early and late effects after Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) and their impact on the patient’s quality of life. With constant improvement in treatment options and an increased number of patients undergoing transplantation and cell therapy the importance of patient and donor care is evident. As a consequence of expanded possibilities we also see more long term survivors. This provides new challenges for follow-up care and observing quality-of-life issues, areas in which nurses get more and more involved and taking on new responsibilities, e.g. in nurse-led follow-up clinics.
Follow-up care was one of the major themes this year but the Nurses Group program offered many other opportunities for attendees to expand their knowledge on everything from explanation of cytogenetics and molecular testing, disease updates, update and new trends in management of oral mucositis and other complications, to palliative care and end-of-life issues. The results from the Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI) project in collaboration with the Infectious Diseases Working Party were also presented.
The Key Note Speaker in the nurses’ Opening Session, Barry Quinn observed the 30th Anniversary by giving an overview of the Past, the Present and the Future. It is clear that the field of HSCT nursing has evolved over the past three decades. As one of the main contributors for many years Monica Fliedner received the 6th Distinguished Merit Award for her long-standing dedication and strategic work emphasizing research, education and collaboration as fundamentals contributing to the successful development of the Nurses Group. It was a particular pleasure to see a large number of previous Nurses Group Presidents attending this Anniversary meeting, indicating that the Annual Meeting is attractive to not only to junior nurses but also to experienced colleagues whether to share their vast experience through presentations or to keep up with the professional developments in the field.
Following the nurses’ Satellite Symposium on Veno-Occulusive Disease (VOD) last year a VOD learning programme was developed with support from Gentium/Jazz Pharmacuticals. This year another very well attended Satellite Symposium was held; “Active management of severe veno-occlusive disease: What should you do now?” In addition to the launch of the new learning programme itself, the faculty behind it, Sarah Marktel, Erik Aerts and Mairead NiChonghaile, presented about the nurse’s role in VOD, the nurse perspective on a case study and asked questions that the audience responded to by interactive voting. The expert panel also answered questions from the audience.
The prize for best oral presentation went to Barbara Gresch (CH) for “Medication non-adherence to taking immunosuppressants after allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation is associated with cGvHD: Provivomed – A multicenter cross-sectional study” and for best poster to Laure Tardieu (FR) for “Evaluation of a discharge instruction booklet for allograft patient”.