The elimination of legionella in a hospital ward

Case study
EU
Polsko
English
2011

Popis

The first hospital-acquired case of legionnaires' disease in Poland was detected in the ophthalmology ward of a large hospital. Analysis of medical files revealed previous suspected cases of legionnaires' disease in the ophthalmology ward. Biological samples confirmed legionnaires’ disease. The source of the bacteria proved to be the old hot water system. Chemical and heat-shock treatment of the pipelines diminished the bacterial load but further technical interventions were necessary to eliminate all bacteria. The engineers removed dead legs from the pipelines, as well as the old large metal hot water tanks. The hospital installed an automatic chemical disinfection system. Legionella disappeared and no new cases of the disease were observed.

Other data

Sector / Industry covered: 
Ústavní zdravotní péče
Provider: 
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
Tasks covered: 
Contact with Humans or Animals
Biological hazard: 
Bacteria
Hazard - physical state: 
Aerosols
Liquids
Hazard - health effects: 
Infection
Exposure route: 
Inhalation
Substance Description: 

Legionella pneumonia

Prevention measures: 
Level 1. Elimination of hazards
Level 2. Technical measures, e.g. local exhaust ventilation
Hygiene measures
Purpose of the material: 
Awareness raising
Guidance
Target group: 
Employers
Managers
OSH consultant
Safety officers
Workers
Workers representatives

Access tool