Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hospital water taps contaminated with bacteria

Date:
January 21, 2014
Source:
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Summary:
New research finds significantly higher levels of infectious pathogens in water from faucet taps with aerators compared to water from deeper in the plumbing system. Contaminated water poses an increased risk for infection in immunocompromised patients.

New research finds significantly higher levels of infectious pathogens in water from faucet taps with aerators compared to water from deeper in the plumbing system. Contaminated water poses an increased risk for infection in immunocompromised patients. The study was published in the February issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

"Aerators are a reservoir for drug-resistant bacteria and a source of infection for patients at risk," said Maria Luisa Cristina, PhD, a lead author of the study. "Safe water is vital to ensuring patient safety where waterborne infections increase morbidity, mortality, treatment costs, compensation claims and prolong hospital stays."

Researchers from the University of Genova in Italy and collaborating universities studied cold and hot water samples at two tertiary care hospitals for a year from faucets used by healthcare professionals for handwashing, surgical washing, and washing of medical equipment.

This study assessed growth of bacteria at both the faucet and deeper within the water distribution system. Cold and hot water sampling was carried out first with the aerators in faucets in place to assess the risk at each outlet point and then after disinfecting and flame-sterilizing the outlet point and letting the water run for two minutes to analyze the microbiological features of the plumbing system.

Researchers found the total microbial load was up to 10 times greater when aerators were in place than after they had been sterilized. Their findings show that opportunist micro-organisms like Legionella spp., Acinetobacter spp. and other Gram-negative bacteria were significantly higher at the faucet than in the plumbing system. Throughout the study, researchers consistently noted chlorine levels that were too low and hot water temperatures that were below the minimal temperature needed to prevent the growth of Legionella. Both of these factors promote the growth of waterborne pathogens.

In a commentary published alongside the study, Tara Palmore, MD, notes the need for additional research on the topic: "Hospitals tend to have large, complex waterworks with low-flow areas that produce stagnation and biofilm formation; hot and cold water temperatures that are not well regulated may be ideal for bacterial growth...the work of Cristina et al. is valuable in quantifying the frequency, magnitude, and location of the potential hazard to patients from hospital water in their facilities. There is still a significant gap in our understanding of how and when such risk translates to patient infections."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Maria Luisa Cristina, Anna Maria Spagnolo, Beatrice Casini, Angelo Baggiani, Pietro Del Giudice, Silvio Brusaferro, Poscia Andrea, Moscato Umberto, Fernanda Perdelli, Paolo Orlando. The Impact of Aerator on Water Contamination by Emerging Gram-Negative Opportunists in At-Risk Hospital Departments. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, February 2014

Cite This Page:

Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. "Hospital water taps contaminated with bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140121113444.htm>.
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. (2014, January 21). Hospital water taps contaminated with bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140121113444.htm
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. "Hospital water taps contaminated with bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140121113444.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins