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A biohazard in every ward?

Nick Hill, FIHEEM describes the microorganisms which inhabit the drains serving washbasins in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, and considers some of the alternative approaches to managing the risk they present.

Prior to the discovery of Legionella, the purpose of water quality and treatment was to ensure that the water was potable. It followed that if water was fit to drink (defined in law at the time as ‘pure and wholesome’), it was also deemed to be suitable for washing and cooking. The role  of the water undertaker was to provide water of such quality, and for the hospital  to maintain that quality.

If the hospital were to operate a private water supply such a borehole, the responsibility for providing ‘pure and wholesome’ water lay with the hospital. At this point in the history of water safety, the recognised transmission route for infection would be ingestion. 

The list of potential waterborne diseases might include: 

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Arab Health 2023

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Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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