“Contain The Cough”, an innovative practise change to improve containment of Pertussis in the Healthcare Facility.

Ms Vicki Denyer1, Mrs Delma Makejev1

1Lismore Base Hospital NNSW LHD, Lismore, Australia


In 2015 it became evident that the system for pertussis management at Lismore Base Hospital (LBH) was inadequate. There was no formal process in place to proactively manage pertussis exposures. Management of pertussis exposures was reactionary, time consuming with potential ineffective containment of pertussis. The Contain the Cough package is a comprehensive pertussis management toolkit designed to streamline the process of managing the pertussis exposure and contact tracing. A crucial adjunct to this system was to update the staff pertussis immunisation.


The package utilized existing staff and service resources and did not require additional funding or service investment.

The tools developed were intended to guide managers who may not have the expert knowledge of management of pertussis. This means the process is able to be implemented after hours, on weekends and at sites that don’t have a designated Infection Prevention and Control (IP&C) resources.

In addition, staff clinics, mobile immunisation teams and opportunistic immunisation in conjunction with the flu vaccination was instrumental in updating pertussis immunisation.


The package has been demonstrated to be transferable, is being used by other sites and services. The package has also been identified as replicable across other communicable diseases such as chicken pox.


The collaborative approach between the PHU, LBH stakeholders and Pathology North was instrumental in the success and sustainability of the package implementation. Open and honest communication between health, staff and family has proven to be integral to the successful management of pertussis exposure.


Infection Prevention & Control Service at Lismore Base Hospital.

Vicki & Delma have work collaboratively within this unit for last 15 years. Both have experience within their individual fields of greater than 20 years

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