Microbiology and Virology Clinical Advice

Written by Clare Overton Lewis Created on Updated on .

Need Microbiology/Virology Clinical Advice?

The senior medical and scientific staff of the Microbiology and Virology laboratories provide expert advice on clinical, scientific and technical issues to users of the service.

The clinical service is consultant-led and available on a 24-hour basis to hospital clinicians and GPs.

MICROBIOLOGY

When to call us: For simple queries the Trust antimicrobial guidelines should be able to guide you.

Please note:

All positive results from sterile sites (including blood cultures) are phoned out by the laboratory when positive.

There is a laboratory bench round between 11.00-11.30am every day and there is an ITU ward round daily between 2.00-3.00pm, when Microbiology doctors won’t be readily available.

For urgent enquiries, ask your consultant to speak to the duty Microbiology consultant via switchboard.

When you call: Please tell us who you are: name, team and bleep number.

Please tell us who the patient is: name, PID, location. (Note all consultations and advice given is documented in our laboratory system).

Please have the patient’s notes and observation chart with you.

  • The clinical diagnosis and the possible focus of infection
  • The precise symptoms and signs suggestive of infection
  • Previous microbiology and other relevant results (temperature, WCC, CRP, renal and liver function)
  • Community or hospital onset infection
  • Relevant clinical history eg. travel, immunocompromise
  • Recent imaging and procedures/surgery
  • Indwelling devices: urinary catheter, IV lines, stents/prosthesis
  • Current/previous antibiotics: dose and duration
  • Antibiotic allergies and allergy type (rash, lip swelling)

Who to call: 9am-5pm Mon-Fri BHH and SHH 43244, for GHH dial #6276

Out of hours- Always discuss the case with your seniors first (registrar/consultant), go through switch and ask for the microbiologist on-call at your hospital. Please be aware they may not have access to results so carefully review iCare for alerts etc.

 

VIROLOGY

 

Who to call: During working hours, please contact the Virology registrar on Bleep #2821. A consultant Virologist is available via switchboard on a 24 hour basis.

Please be aware that out-of-hours that the Virologist may not have access to results, so carefully review iCare for alerts etc.

When you call: Please tell us who you are: name, team and bleep number.

Please tell us who the patient is: name, PID, location. (Note all consultations and advice given is documented in our laboratory system).

Please have the patient’s notes and observation chart with you.

  • The precise symptoms and signs suggestive of infection
  • Relevant clinical history eg. travel, immunocompromise
  • Recent imaging

The virology department also offers the following services:

Specialist Advice: The consultant virologists provide specialist advice for patients throughout the West Midlands, including clinical interpretation of laboratory results and risk assessments for exposure to blood-borne viruses. The laboratory also serves as a national reference centre for HIV resistance testing, as well as providing resistance testing for Hepatitis B and CMV. The laboratory is one of two designated laboratories for the testing of Hepatitis B in healthcare workers undergoing exposure-prone procedures, as per DOH guidelines.

Outbreak support:Support to the PHE Health Protection Teams, CsCDC and Local Authority Environmental Health Departments is provided at two levels. Consultant staff provide expert clinical advice on specific infections and guidance on appropriate laboratory investigations. They also act as the local and regional microbiology co-ordinator. The laboratory provides support for testing of specimens collected in the course of outbreak investigations. Staff are co-opted onto Outbreak Control Teams and attend outbreak review meetings. Senior staff are also expected to give advice and support to the work of other Agencies.

Immunoglobulins and Vaccines: As part of the PHE, the Microbiology laboratory supplies and provides advice on the use of specific immune globulins for:

  • Varicella Zoster
  • Hepatitis B
  • Rabies

Normal immunoglobulin is also available for use within published guidelines.

In cases of possible exposure to rabies, both specific immune globulin and vaccine may be supplied for post-exposure prophylaxis. For these services, please contact the duty clinical virologist via Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust switchboard (0121 424 2000).