25. 5. 2020 |

Last week, the Cardiovascular Sleep Research Center trained for the eighth time sleep technicians, the presence of which is a condition for the accreditation of a workplace providing diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. The International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno has been organizing courses since 2016 as the only institution in the Czech Republic.

The course participants first became acquainted with the theory, but most of the time was spent practicing in sleep laboratories. "One day they go through theories from the field of neurology, cardiology and lung medicine, the next days they learn practical skills from our certified sleep technicians," described the head nurse of the FNUSA-ICRC Libuše Martináková and added that the whole course ends with an oral exam.

At the same time, at the end of the current course, examinations of graduates of the February course took place, which had to be postponed due to the pandemic. This also affected this course. "Out of the originally registered ten participants, only seven took part in the course. Due to the current situation, some applicants from Slovakia could not reach it, "Libuše Martináková explained:" However, there were no changes in the course program. Participants complied with all government regulations, sat with gaps and face masks, and moved in the workplace with caution and control during practical training. ”

A certified sleep technician must have a secondary or university education in the field of general nurse, medical laboratory technician or other medical field that deals with sleep and wakefulness disorders, their diagnosis and treatment. Following the example of the USA and the western states of the EU, since 2016 the Czech Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine has been trying to integrate sleep techniques more into the professional diagnostic-therapeutic process in sleep laboratories. "Doctors in the sleep centers of individual hospitals are overwhelmed by patients. Certified sleep technicians significantly help doctors, "commented prof. MUDr. Ondřej Ludka, Ph.D., head of the FNUSA-ICRC Cardiovascular Sleep Research Center, added that there is a growing interest in courses.

The Sleep Center is accredited by the Czech Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine and is on the list of European Sleep Research Laboratories. It can therefore train scientists from all over the European Union. In addition to courses for sleep technicians, it also organizes theoretical courses in sleep medicine for physicians.


21. 5. 2020 |

Researchers from the Center for Translational Medicine of the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) has recently performed their own testing of various surfaces for the presence of COVID-19 viruses on the hospital premises. The results are clear - everything is negative and safe.

The staff of the center performed tests especially in places with a high concentration of patients and hospital visitors. "For example, we tested front door handles, coffee machines, elevator buttons, bells for various departments.… Simply extremely exposed surfaces that are likely to be affected by the vast majority of hospital visitors," said Giancarlo Forte, head of the Center for Translational Medicine and FNUSA-ICRC Deputy.
The test results are clear. "I can confirm that these surfaces are absolutely safe for visitors. We did not find any traces of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in any of them, "confirmed Giancarlo Forte. "I would like to thank my colleagues - Jan Vrbský and Ondřej Mrkva (see photos below) - who devoted themselves to it one hundred and ten percent.“

In addition to publicly accessible areas, the researchers also performed tests at the Department of Anaesthesiology and Resuscitation FNUSA and LF MU, where patients with severe COVID-19 disease were placed. "As expected, the tests were positive only in places where infected patients were present, such as a bed. This clearly means that we proceeded correctly throughout the pandemic, the viruses remained only where they were supposed to be, and where only trained personnel came into contact with them, "said prof. MUDr. Vladimír Šrámek, Ph.D., Head of ARK FNUSA and LF MU.

Surface testing is not over yet, it will be repeated within fourteen days. Experts from FNUSA-ICRC will also focus on the presence of other pathogens, such as influenza virus.



18. 5. 2020 |

The COVID-19 pandemic is challenge not only for doctors, healthcare professionals or scientists, but also for their technical and IT support. For example, the Ministry of Health has prepared a web application for monitoring inpatient and facility capacity so that each hospital can supply and regularly update its data. Based on this data, the coordinator at the regional level was able to organize the placement of patients with COVID-19 disease.

However, the existing FNUSA information systems do not allow the required data to be easily identified due to the number of departments. In a situation where there was a danger that it would be difficult to secure data every day by phone or e-mail, two researchers from the Biostatistics team of the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) MUDr. BSc Michal Šitina Ph.D. and Jan Voříšek came with solution.

"Given that the interventions in the existing hospiral information system would be very complicated, we decided to solve it using the web application REDCap, which is already commonly used in FNUSA-ICRC," said Jan Voříšek. Within a fortnight, a new system was created that allows all required data to be monitored online.

"Under normal circumstances, it would not be necessary to monitor so much data at the same time, however, with the COVID-19 pandemic, this has changed from day to day. However, the situation is gradually calming down, for example, we are now sending data to the Ministry of Health only once a week, "said Michal Šitina. "We were ready to offer this system to other hospitals as well, but fortunately the pandemic did not break out with such force that they could not handle it on their own."

Although there are hours of work behind this system, both creators hope that it will no longer have to be reused. "With the return to the normal state, it will no longer be necessary to have such complex data, so we will continue on the existing hospital systems," added Michal Šitina.


13. 5. 2020 |

The pun in the introduction may seem inappropriate, but it has its justification. It relates to a project with a same name - To Pea, or not to Pea… Hamlet's call was modified to refer to the pea plant, which is inseparably linked with Gregor Johann Mendel, the father of genetics.

The aim of the project To Pea or not to Pea… is to popularize science through the legacy of Gregor Johann Mendel and is organized with the support of the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) and the Mendel Museum of Masaryk University. The idea is simple - a competition in growing peas.

"The project should connect personalities from the academic and scientific world with the help of one of the biggest motivators - natural competition," said the project organizer Mgr. Martina Petříková. "We will distribute peas all over the world and participants will compete in whose pea plant grows the best." The voting of participants and the public will be included, as well as a special Facebook page.

The database of participants is relatively wide and covers literally the whole world. "The vast majority of foreign academics or scientists who came to visit us in Brno had an enormous interest in the personality of Gregor Johann Mendel. He is a truly global celebrity in the world of science, "added Martina Petříková. "The initial impulse for this project was a friendly quarrel between three Italian scientists over a pea seeds, which were received as a gift. They started growing plants once they got back to the lab and share their achievements with me."

The To Pea or not to Pea… project will take place several times a year and the organizers believe in success and continuation in the future. "We would like to invite the best participants to Brno for both science and fun – to give a lecture especially to our young scientists and visit places connected with Mendel's life," added Mgr. Blanka Křížová, director of the Mendel Museum of Masaryk University. "Our aim is to present the city of Brno as a university, scientific and vibrant city."


7. 5. 2020 |

St. Anne's University Hospital Brno was selected as one of two hospitals in the Czech Republic for the care of patients with severe COVID-19. This is also related to a number of measures that had to be implemented in the hospital. From closing several entrances to a special regime in individual departments.

The International Clinical Research Center of FNUSA came up with a method that could help return to normal and calm future hospital visitors. This involves testing various surfaces for the presence of coronavirus. "From the information we know so far, the coronavirus can last for different times on different surfaces. We want to verify this in practice, we plan to test the exposed areas in the hospital once and find out their possible contamination, " said Giancarlo Forte, head of Center for Translational Medicine and Vice Chair of FNUSA-ICRC.

The data obtained from this research should be decisive for further safety recommendations. Among the selected surfaces are, for example, handles or buttons in elevators, ie places whose potential danger is not even realized. "Given the Czech Republic's approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, I do not anticipate any infestations. However, even in that case, we will get a clear answer that could reassure the hospital's patients, "added Giancarlo Forte.


5. 5. 2020 |

The International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno actively participated in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic also by testing face masks. Due to the situation in Italy, where it was difficult to find free capacity for tests for certification, the face masks of the Italian manufacturer were tested in Brno.

Until recently, MODA Impresa s.r.l. sewed accessories for world brands Dolce Gabbana, Versace, Ferré and others. After the beginning of the pandemic, company quickly reorganized production and began producing face masks for paramedics. But the problem was with their certification for use in hospitals. Laboratories in Italy were fully occupied to test patients, and it was not possible to carry out certification tests at universities either. Thanks to good contacts in Italy, specifically at the University of Florence, face masks soon reached Brno.

Our laboratories at Biopark proved to be the most suitable, so testing could begin. "We mainly performed microscopic analyzes of the surface structure and the filter, as well as integrity tests, which helped with the certification itself. Now they can also be used by doctors in Italian hospitals, "said Giancarlo Forte, head of Center for Translational Medicine and Vice Chair of FNUSA-ICRC.

Even after successful certification, the work does not end, researchers would still be interested in the behavior of viruses when passing through the filter. "We will monitor fluorescent nanoparticles that are even smaller than droplets with virus and analyze whether and how much they pass through the filter. This could help to further improve the material for the filters, "added Giancarlo Forte.

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