Safety

Weekly tip: How to test fountains for Legionella

Hospital Safety Insider, March 22, 2012

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Hospital Safety Insider!

"Many hospitals already have decorative fountains in their waiting rooms, and some have decided to take them out completely to avoid any risk of a Legionella outbreak," says Thomas Haupt, MS, an epidemiologist with the ­Wisconsin Division of Public Health and lead author of a  report published in the February issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology that indicated routine cleaning and maintenance of fountains does not adequately eliminate the risk of bacterial contamination. There is a significant amount of work associated with testing and cleaning these fountains on a routine basis, and some facilities can't keep up.

"You have to go through routine maintenance, but you also have to test specifically for Legionella," Haupt says. "Taking a regular culture for 48 hours does nothing. It has to be on a specific type of media for up to 10 days. It's expensive, but that's the only way you should be testing to make sure your fountain is free of Legionella."

Read more tips from this article and others at Hospital Safety Center.



Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Hospital Safety Insider!

    Hospital Safety Center
  • Hospital Safety Center

    Improve compliance with hospital safety standards from The Joint Commission, OSHA, and other regulators with this...

  • Healthcare Life Safety Compliance

    Created exclusively for healthcare facility managers, plant operations professionals, and directors of engineering, this...

  • Hospital Safety Insider

    Stay on top of hospital safety requirements and best practices with our free, fast-paced weekly update.

  • Basic OSHA Compliance Manual Kit

    Total compliance has never been easier. This one convenient package contains everything you need to ensure your outpatient...

  • Basic Dental OSHA Compliance Manual Kit

    Total compliance has never been easier. This one convenient package contains everything you need to ensure your dental...

Most Popular