Report by Jodi Grunert in Adelaide

 

Thanks to the generosity of Cystic Fibrosis Australia and Technipro Pulmomed I was lucky enough to travel to North America in October and November 2013 to attend the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference (NACFC) in Salt Lake City and visit 5 US Cystic Fibrosis centres to learn from experienced CF dietitians about various aspects of CF nutrition care.

 

The centres I visited were:

•Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California

•Primary Children’s Medical Centre, Salt Lake City, Utah

•Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago, Illinois

•Riley Children’s Hospital, Indianapolis, Indiana

•Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio

 

I spent a day at each of the above centres with the CF dietitian and CF team.  I attended a CF clinic at most of the centres.  Each dietitian I visited had 12-25 years of experience working in CF.   I was able to sit down with each dietitian and ask questions about their processes, their experience and their management of various CF issues (e.g. nutrition risk, CF related diabetes, new diagnosis education and vitamin D deficiency).  I have been able to come back with a multitude of new ideas, thoughts and processes to implement in our CF clinic.  These are predominantly around the management of our patients at nutrition risk and the need for our team to cohesively manage these patients more aggressively.  

 

The NACFC was held in Salt Lake City over 3 days.  The program had a strong nutrition content on various topics including 

-GI and liver disease in CF

-Importance of early nutrition and growth in CF 

-Body image and eating disturbances in CF

-Deciphering nutritional labs 

-CF related diabetes

-Issues of overweight, obesity and hyperlipidaemia in CF

-Practical nutritional issues and methods of management in CF

The conference was a great learning and networking opportunity and it was a great experience to attend such a large international conference focussed on CF with a specific focussed nutrition stream.