Contamination of American drinking water in hospitals
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2013 Aug;26(4):345-51. doi: 10.1097/QCO.0b013e3283630adf. The role of water in healthcare-associated infections. Decker BK1, Palmore TN. National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim is to discuss the epidemiology of infections that arise from contaminated water in healthcare settings, including Legionnaires' disease, other Gram-negative pathogens, nontuberculous mycobacteria, and fungi.
RECENT FINDINGS: Legionella can colonize a hospital water system and infect patients despite use of preventive disinfectants. Evidence-based measures are available for secondary prevention. Vulnerable patients can develop healthcare-associated infections with waterborne organisms that are transmitted by colonization of plumbing systems, including sinks and their fixtures. Room humidifiers and decorative fountains have been implicated in serious outbreaks, and pose unwarranted risks in healthcare settings.
SUMMARY: Design of hospital plumbing must be purposeful and thoughtful to avoid the features that foster growth and dissemination of Legionella and other pathogens. Exposure of patients who have central venous catheters and other invasive devices to tap water poses a risk for infection with waterborne pathogens. Healthcare facilities must conduct aggressive clinical surveillance for Legionnaires' disease and other waterborne infections in order to detect and remediate an outbreak promptly. Hand hygiene is the most important measure to prevent transmission of other Gram-negative waterborne pathogens in the healthcare setting.