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Water Restrictions Lifted in New Patient Tower at MVH

As of 3:30 p.m. today, water restrictions at the Miami Valley Hospital’s new patient tower have been lifted. The water is safe for drinking and normal operations.

Miami Valley Hospital has been partnering with Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County, the Ohio Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Tim Keane, Legionella Consultant, to resolve the situation.

“The entire building’s water system has been thermally disinfected. This includes all sinks, faucets, water fountains, showers and other water outlets,” stated Bobbie Gerhart president and CEO Miami Valley Hospital.

“The hospital proceeded by implementing a thermal disinfection program,” stated Tim Keane, Legionella consultant who arrived at Miami Valley Hospital Wednesday evening. “Hospital personnel have been very aggressive in reacting to this situation and implementing all recommendations.”

Keane continued, “Hyper-chlorination of the entire cold and hot water system has also been completed. This is an additional proactive step above and beyond recommendations to disinfect the plumbing in the building including all fixtures and drinking fountains. Continuous testing and samples of the water are actively underway.”

Dr. Lauri Hicks, medical epidemiologist with the CDC, complimented the hospital on its aggressive approach and stated that the hospital has been a model of how this process should be conducted. 

In addition to thermal disinfection of the hot water system, the hospital’s remediation action plan included raising the level of chlorine and completely flushing the water system. This effort was added to ensure complete control of Legionella in the water system. Chlorine levels are now restored to normal. The hospital is continuing to keep the hot water temperatures up for the new patient tower.

“It’s been really impressive how responsive and involved the entire hospital staff has been to ensure all proper steps have been taken,” added Keane.

Legionella bacteria does not spread from person to person. Infected individuals are not contagious. Legionalla bacteria is typically contracted by inhaling contaminated water in mist through events such as taking a shower.

Legionella-type illness can have symptoms like many other forms of pneumonia and influenza. Signs of the disease can include high fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, and sometimes muscle aches and headaches. Most cases can be successfully be treated with specific antibiotics.

If anyone received care or visited the Miami Valley Hospital new patient tower (also referred to as the southeast addition) between February 8, 2011 and February 24, 2011 and feel they are showing symptoms please call our phone line (8:00 am - 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday) at 937-208-2666.

The new patient tower is located on Miami Valley Hospital’s main campus. The patient tower is maintained on an independent water system. No other buildings within the campus or located off-site were affected.