Effective Legionella Control in Healthcare: Safeguarding Hospitals, Care Facilities, and Medical Sites
At Pipe Testing Services (PTS), we understand the critical importance of robust Legionella control in healthcare facilities. With vulnerable patients, complex water systems, and potential transmission sources throughout facilities, Legionella prevention is paramount.
This guide will walk you through the heightened risks, targeted precautions, and proactive solutions. Ultimately, legionella control in healthcare facilities must be implemented effectively. And we at PTS can help do just that, ensuring water safety compliance and protect public health.
The Dangers of Legionella in Healthcare Environments
Healthcare-associated Legionella infections disproportionately impact high-risk patients like the elderly, immunocompromised, neonates, and those on respirators or with underlying lung conditions. Legionella pneumophila is one of the most virulent strains, with fatality rates over 30% in vulnerable groups.
As for potential sources, they can be abundant in healthcare settings & facilities.
Potable water systems, showers, respiratory therapy equipment, fountains, hot tubs, and cooling towers
These can all harbour and transmit Legionella if not properly controlled, so it is important to know the sources and to know how to control them effectively. Additionally, recent Legionella outbreaks at UK hospitals and care homes should highlight the importance of vigilance and why it is important to get in contact with Legionella Contractors like us.
Legionella outbreaks can always occur with proper assessments from professionals like us at PTS, we can help you with that. Get in contact for a quote, or take a look at some of our guides here on our website on how best to deal with Legionella at your facility or business, and how to prepare for your first Legionella Risk Assessment.
Targeted Precautions for Healthcare Water Systems
To control risks, healthcare facilities must implement water management programs tailored to their systems and patients’ needs.
Frequent water quality testing alerts staff to any Legionella presence before it can spread. Swab sampling, bacterial culture analysis, and direct fluorescent antibody tests should be conducted at least quarterly, if not monthly. Here’s a brief overview:
Enhanced Controls for Other Sources
Here’s an overview of proper control methods:
- Ensure that Cooling towers used for climate control receive special attention, with a mandatory registration and risk assessment process. Strive to minimise their usage when possible. Employ biocides, implement bleed cycles, and incorporate drift eliminators to effectively control proliferation.
- Proper maintenance and disinfection are imperative for humidifiers, nebulizers, hydrotherapy tubs, ice machines, and any other water-based equipment.
- Discourage the use of decorative fountains due to the associated risks of aerosolized water. Hot tubs must be maintained at safe temperatures and undergo regular cleaning for optimal safety.
Restarting After COVID Shutdowns
With temporary unit closures during COVID, extra precautions must be taken before reopening healthcare facilities. Remember, stagnant water allows Legionella to thrive.
Prior to patients returning, a restart plan should be implemented, including:
Ongoing monitoring ensures clean water is sustained long-term. We can help with this – contact Pipe Testing Services today to create a customised water management plan for your healthcare facility.
Maintain Rigorous Legionella Control at Your Healthcare Facility
Don’t gamble with Legionella risks and waterborne infection at your healthcare facility. Implement a customised water safety plan tailored to your specific systems, sources, and needs.
At Pipe Testing Services we have years of experience – helping hospitals, clinics, care homes, and other medical sites control Legionella. Our certified water specialists can create an effective, targeted water management program for your facility.
Contact us today to schedule a comprehensive Legionella risk assessment and inspection. We will identify hazards, optimise your water systems, perform testing and remediation, and provide ongoing monitoring – everything you need to prevent Legionella and ensure regulatory compliance.
Phone: 01922 451646
Address: Unit 27 Birchbrook Industrial Estate, Shenstone, Lichfield, Staffs, WS14 0DJ
Healthcare facilities should test water systems for Legionella at least quarterly, if not monthly for high-risk areas. More frequent testing allows for quicker response.
Hot water temperatures should be maintained at 60°C or higher. Cold water should stay below 20°C. Thermostatic mixing valves can help optimise temperatures.
Precautions like temperature control, water treatment, regular flushing, tank maintenance, testing, inspections, and prompt remedial works if issues are found are key.
The most common sources are potable water systems, cooling towers, respiratory therapy equipment, faucets/showerheads, hydrotherapy tubs, and decorative fountains.
Chlorination, copper-silver ionization, thermal eradication, UV light, and hyper chlorination during cleanings help control Legionella. You can read more about these control methods from the “chlorination” drop-down menu at the top of the page.
Stagnation encourages Legionella growth. After low-use periods, flush all outlets, clean equipment, and test water quality before reopening areas.
Yes – Pipe Testing Services offers legionella services to customers all over the country whether that’s for a facility, a business or residential area. Give us a call to find out if we can help with your legionella related issue at 01922 451646