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This is an excerpt from a member-only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe.

Beware the bio slime: Legionella problems can lurk even in new pipes

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September 1, 2019

By A.J. Plunkett (aplunkett@decisionhealth.com)

Include your water management team in planning and execution of construction and renovation projects to ensure checks are done for Legionella and other waterborne infections before patients and staff move in.

Put those checks, which should include flushing of water lines and testing for Legionella and other bacteria, on your pre-occupancy punch list.

Doing so could not only save lives but save your hospital from expensive water remediation later—and protect your accreditation as well.

Hospital faces investigation

Just because your facility is new (or newly remodeled) and has passed building inspections doesn’t mean problems don’t already lurk within your water system.

Barely a month after opening in late April, the Mount Carmel Grove City hospital outside Columbus, Ohio, began battling an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease (LD) and now faces at least five lawsuits, including one from the family of a woman who died. At least 16 patients were identified in the outbreak.

In a public statement, Mount Carmel Grove City President Sean McKibben said that water samples taken during an investigation shortly after the outbreak of LD among patients “showed significant Legionella bacteria were in our hot water system at that time. We believe the bacteria are linked to inadequate disinfection prior to Mount Carmel Grove City’s opening.”

Barely a month after opening in late April, the Mount Carmel Grove City hospital outside Columbus, Ohio, began battling an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease (LD) and now faces at least five lawsuits, including one from the family of a woman who died.



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