The Division of Mycobacterial and Respiratory Infections provides a unique outpatient approach to managing patients with complicated infections who do not require hospitalization but do require an intensive diagnostic evaluation and initiation of treatment regimens, similar to an inpatient experience. National Jewish Health is an exceptionally well-equipped and staffed facility dedicated to caring for patients with mycobacterial infections that are too severe for or refractory to routine outpatient care.
The institution offers a 14 bed unit with 7 rooms that meet strict environmental infection controls for patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis or other highly resistant pathogens. When patients are ready for discharge, our discharge coordinator and discharge nurse communicate with home health services and referring physicians to provide for a seamless transition of care back to the referring physician.
When appropriate, patients with less severe disease may be seen in our outpatient clinics. This outpatient program is designed to serve patients who are less severely ill, need a less intensive evaluation, and for follow-up of patients admitted to our extended program. The outpatient program includes complete assessment, selection of optimal drug regimens, initial evaluation of drug pharmacokinetics, education regarding drug toxicity and intolerance problems, as well as selected outpatient support services.
The Division has a longstanding relationship with the Center for the Surgical Treatment of Lung Infections at University of Colorado Denver. The faculty meets weekly with thoracic surgeons from the University to discuss patients who may benefit from a combined medical/surgical approach treatment. Both before and after surgery, Division faculty and staff are closely involved in the patient's care. This synergy provides a unique opportunity to provide the best in medical and surgical therapy for our patients.
Pulmonary resectional surgery in the context of mycobacterial infection is often complicated, requiring experience not only in performing the procedure but also in deciding in whom surgery is indicated. Marvin Pomerantz, MD, and John Mitchell, MD, are our consulting surgeons and they have such experience. They have performed over 500 resectional surgeries on patients with mycobacterial or other severe respiratory infections.
Orthopedic procedures are also needed in some patients. Anthony Dwyer, MD, and Eric Britton, MD, who are our consulting orthopedic surgeons, perform these procedures. Dr. Dwyer who has many years of experience in the surgical management of tuberculosis patients with spinal infections. Dr. Britton has vast experience in the surgical management of mycobacterial infections of the hand and upper extremity. We also have close associations with gastrointestinal and plastic surgeons at the University of Colorado Denver. The collaborative efforts between these surgical teams, National Jewish Health faculty and our rehabilitation services provides a national referral source for these difficult, and relatively uncommon clinical problems.