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Hospital’s Quick Action Helped to Stop the Spread of Legionella

Dayton, OH (March 14, 2011) – Miami Valley Hospital reports today that independent laboratory testing confirms water samples taken from its new 12-story patient tower on Feb. 22 tested positive for Legionella bacteria. Water samples collected after remediation was completed Feb. 25 confirmed that Miami Valley Hospital has safe water.

 “I can assure our patients, staff and the public that measures we have put into place show that the water is safe for drinking, bathing and washing” said Bobbie Gerhart, hospital president and CEO.

“Test results show the hospital’s efforts have been successful and the water system disinfection has very successfully controlled the Legionella” stated Tim Keane, a consultant for Environmental Infection Control Consultants in Chalfont, PA.

After learning of a cluster of four cases of the lung infection in the hospital’s new patient tower on Feb. 22 the hospital immediately implemented water restrictions to the tower. Miami Valley Hospital immediately notified Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County, the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

With the guidance of Keane and local, state and federal officials the hospital took aggressive action to thermally disinfect (super heat) and hyper-chlorinate the water system. On Feb. 25 the water restrictions were lifted.

"The support and responsiveness from MVH has been phenomenal.  During one of our conferences, the CDC mentioned that the MVH response to the situation has been a model.  I agree with this statement completely. All personnel have been extremely responsive to all recommendations,” stated Keane.

Test results show that the Legionella bacteria was in the hot water system.

Keane added, “Preliminary findings indicate the water flow and water temperature were both factors in allowing the Legionella bacteria to colonize.” 

The hospital will continue to monitor and test the water supply to make sure that excellent results remain the norm.

“To go above and beyond standard protocols and recommendations, equipment to permanently supplement the amount of chlorine in the patient tower’s hot water system has been installed, tested and placed in operation,” added Gerhart.