Water systems are not sterile. Micro-organisms, including potential pathogens, are capable of forming biofilms on a range of different materials in them. Control has to be specific and based on risk assessments to prevent the occurrence of infections. For Legionella pneumophila the highest risks in a healthcare environment are devices that disperse aerosols such as showers. Taps and other uses of water should also be considered but are of lower risk. The presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in water in an augmented care unit, particularly neonatal units, should be assessed on a regular basis and control measures put in place accordingly.Biofilms cannot be eradicated, but it is important that control measures are appropriate to protect vulnerable patients in a healthcare environment. There are a wide range of control measures that can be used but those responsible for their implementation must be aware of the methods' limitations and know that they should be reviewed regularly to ensure that they are still appropriate and effective.
|Title of host publication||Biofilms in Infection Prevention and Control|
|Subtitle of host publication||A Healthcare Handbook|
|Number of pages||27|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2014|
Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Hospital water systems
- Legionella pneumophila
- Nosocomial infection
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa