What most people may not be aware of is that in some cases, it does not take medical backgrounds or facilities to ward off disease. The simplest solutions, such as the use of Legionella testing kits, can also make a helpful impact.

Legionella in the hospital


Keeping your surroundings clean and avoiding dirty and unsanitary places are two of the most common habits people try to cultivate if they want to avoid getting sick. However, in some of the most serious illnesses, there’s more than meets the eye. Just because a place looks spotless and sanitary does not immediately guarantee that it’s disease-free. Take the case of Legionella outbreaks that occur inside hospitals – the very institutions that were established to specifically uphold wellness and good health.

Such is what happened in the Royal Sussex County Hospital recently. The Brighton hospital administrators have been accused of failing to ensure the well-being of their patients and visitors when one under their care died after battling Legionnaires’ disease. It is believed that the patient may have contracted the disease from the hospital facilities.  
According to the court charge, the 78-year-old cancer patient was exposed to Legionella bacteria because the hospital failed to set up proper measures that will keep patients and visitors away from “the risks of injury or death should they become infected by Legionella bacteria from the various water systems at that hospital.”

Hospital high risk factors


Hospitals that have been around for a good number of years, such as the Royal Sussex County Hospital, are especially prone to Legionella because their water systems tend to be old and complex. It is actually a known fact in the healthcare field that water systems in hospitals can never be considered “Legionella-free.” Moreover, due to the age and structure of their pipes, most Legionella elimination techniques such as temperature control and chlorine dioxide treatments may not be as effective anymore.   
Preventive measures

The best that hospital administrators can do is to maintain the Legionella bacteria concentration to a manageable level and implement the most meticulous Legionella prevention measures within their facility. Another very critical action that they are expected to implement every week is to undertake a huge number of Legionella tests to vigilantly monitor the quality of water that flows through their showers, taps and equipment.

Hospitals are now able to implement these measures thanks to new innovations that allow them to make the tests efficiently. Administrators can make use of hospital Legionella testing packs that require a simple and straightforward sampling process.
The samples will be sent to the testing facility’s accredited laboratories and the team will directly contact the hospital to provide the results of the test, along with professional advice specific to the results. 

+Duncan Hollis