Infection Control

Miami Children's Hospital faces contaminated water

Infection Control Weekly Monitor, June 17, 2009

A state agency is monitoring Miami Children’s Hospital after a county report blamed a deadly bacterium for the deaths of two infants in the facility’s neonatal intensive care unit. Health investigators found 23 strains of the Pseudumonas aeruginosa in the hospital’s water supply, according to the Miami Herald.

However, no health department was able to match any of the bacteria in the water supply with the strains that killed the infants.

“The lack of hospital policies or procedures for routine inspection or flushing of the plumbing system, combined with the relatively low disinfectant levels of chlorine raise the possibility of biofilm buildup in the system with possible contamination of the water supply,” health department investigators Dr. Vincent Conte and Samir Elmir told the Herald.

The hospital has been asked to begin regular checks of water quality, closely monitor chlorine levels, and take part in the county’s annual free chlorine purge program.

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