The Infectious Diseases Clinic helps by providing specialized care for children and youth in the Maritimes who require infectious diseases care and follow up.
How we help
The Infectious Diseases Clinic offers a variety of services for children and youth including consultation and diagnosis for the management of children with any type of infectious disease; laboratory assistance in the diagnosis of infections; treatment of infectious diseases; help selecting antibiotics, anti-viral medication, or other forms of therapy; and vaccination counselling, education, and guidance.
Care is provided in both an inpatient and outpatient setting depending on the patient’s management requirements. A referral to the Infectious diseases clinic is made by a health care provider, usually your family doctor.
The Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Prevention clinic, part of the Infectious Diseases Service, is available to qualifying patients from Halifax Regional Municipality and the immediate vicinity. Outside of HRM, patients who qualify for RSV passive immunization can receive treatment from their family physician or pediatrician. The RSV clinic operates during the five-month RSV season (typically December to April). The Special Immunization Clinic is also part of the Infectious Diseases Service at IWK Health. The clinic accepts referrals for children who have previously experienced an adverse event (reaction) after a vaccine.
What to expect
While in the Infectious Diseases clinic your child’s care may be provided by a trainee (e.g. medical student or doctor taking specialty training), or nurse, all under the guidance of the infectious diseases physician. Your child’s height and weight will be measured. Each child is examined and assessed on an individual basis and after discussion with a parent/guardian, a personalized plan of care is developed. Other health professionals will be consulted as necessary. Your child’s visit may include, or be followed by, blood work or vaccinations. The Infectious Diseases Clinic can be a busy clinic, so you may have a bit of a wait; please bring some quiet activities or reading material for you and your child.
To fully prepare for your child’s visit, please be sure to bring along:
- your child's health card
- your appointment letter
- a List of medications
- any medications needed during your visit
- Your child’s vaccination record.
- books, games, snacks (peanut free), diapers, change of baby clothes, or other necessities.
You'll be notified of your child’s appointment by mail and/or phone call. Before your appointment, it may be helpful to write down any questions you may have. Follow-up care, if required, will be reviewed prior to leaving. The booking clerk will notify you of follow up appointments by mail and/or phone call.
Who you’ll meet
Our team is made up of many members who work closely together. Some of the people you may meet during your visit include physicians, registered nurses, a child life specialist, a social worker, a dietician and a psychologist.
Infectious Diseases Physicians
There are four infectious diseases physicians who work in the Infectious Diseases Clinic. A pediatric infectious disease specialist is a physician who has completed training in pediatrics and infectious diseases. An infectious disease doctor works in the clinic one half day a week, but most of the care is provided on an urgent or emergency basis when patients are seen in the Emergency Department, in the hospital, or to patients who are primarily followed by other specialty and services.
Dr. J. Comeau
Dr. S. Halperin
Dr. J. Langley
The registered nurses in the Infectious Diseases Clinic have a high level of knowledge, skill, and competence in the area of pediatric infectious diseases. They'll help answer any questions you might have about your child’s condition, and will help guide you through whatever treatment option is necessary.
Child Life Specialists
Health care experiences can be stressful for children and youth. These experiences may cause fear, confusion and changes in behaviour. With the help of Child Life staff, children and youth can master these feelings through play, education, and support. Child Life specialists have special training designed to promote the well-being of children and youth and their families by assisting them to cope with the stresses of health care through play, education, and other strategies. A child life specialist would be consulted as needed.
Social workers are dedicated to improving the physical health, mental health, and wellbeing of patients and families by working on the issues that patients and families identify as concerns. Social workers at the IWK have special training (Masters Degree) in the areas of medical and mental health social work practice. All social workers at the IWK are required to be registered through the Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers (NSASW). A social worker would be consulted as needed.
Dietitians at the IWK are nutrition professionals who have training and experience in the area of nutrition for infants and children. The Dietitian can assess your child’s growth and nutrition, and help create an individualized plan that meets the nutritional needs of your child. A dietician would be consulted as needed.
In the Pediatric Health Psychology Service, Psychologists work with children and adolescents with acute and chronic medical difficulties. The Psychologist can help your child cope with aspects of the assessment or treatment of illness. Examples include preparing for medical procedures or examinations, taking medication, and adhering to complex daily regimens. As well, they help to support youth regarding broader aspects of coping with illness, such as managing symptoms and coping with limitations related to a medical condition. A psychologist would be consulted as needed. Find more information about the Pediatric Health Psychology Service here.