New automated system to kill bacteria in hospital water systems and taps
A team of Trinity College Dublin researchers has developed a fully automated system that eradicates bacterial contamination in hospital water tanks, distribution systems and taps. This type of contamination was linked to the recent tragic deaths of three babies in a Belfast Maternity Hospital. The findings will be published in the April edition of Journal of Hospital Infection and have just been published online.
The Health Research Board (HRB) and Microbiology Unit at Dublin Dental University Hospital funded this research which has proved to be a revolutionary approach to eradicating bacterial contamination. The system is also more cost effective than current practice and reduces maintenance requirements.
Hospital washbasin taps and output water are reservoirs of bacteria in a hospital environment which can lead to grave outcomes. It has been estimated that hospital-acquired Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia originating from hospital water systems kills over 1400 patients annually in the USA. Severely ill patients and patients in high dependency units are particularly vulnerable to this type of infection.
Hospital water systems and washbasin taps are frequently contaminated with biofilm-containing opportunistic bacteria, especially P. aeruginosa. We developed the new water treatment system and field-tested the technology for over a year in the Dublin Dental University Hospitals clinics, explains Professor David Coleman, Principal Investigator at Trinity College Dublin.
At the start of the study, the team measured the amount of bacteria in hot and cold water from the hospital clinics washbasin taps. The hot taps regularly yielded an average bacterial density of 482 colony forming units (cfu) for every millilitre (ml) of water, while cold water taps had 5022 cfu per ml. The predominant bacterial species identified were Pseudomonas and related species, including P. aeruginosa.
We cleaned and disinfected the water distribution network at the Dental Hospital, then developed and installed a novel automated water disinfection system to eradicate microbial contamination on a continuous basis. The system involved automatically treating supply water with Ecasol, a powerful environmentally-friendly disinfectant generated by electrochemical activation (ECA) of a dilute salt solution using an ECA generator manufactured by Trustwater, Clonmel. Electronic probes constantly monitor the levels of Ecasol in the water network and adjust the levels via automated pumps when contamination is encountered.
For 54 weeks we measured the microbiological quality of water from five sentinel washbasin taps in one of the hospitals clinics by laboratory culture. The bacterial counts for hot, cold, and tank water during the study period were 1 cfu/ml, 2 cfu/ml, and 0 cfu/ml, respectively. Bacterial contamination of taps was virtually eliminated.
Our results demonstrate that by systematically destroying bacteria throughout a hospitals water distribution network, and in the supply water, we have a consistently effective and safe means of ensuring that hospital water and washbasin taps are no longer reservoirs of contamination that can lead to patients becoming infected in hospitals. It builds upon previous work we did to solve the longstanding problem of biofilm contamination of dental chair unit water lines and output water, concludes Professor Coleman.
The research also points to significant cost efficiencies while maintaining excellent microbiological control of water quality.
Installation costs for Ecasol-generating equipment, pumps and probes were approximately 35,000, annual running costs are less than 1000 and annual maintenance costs are approximately 3000. These running costs are significantly lower than current water treatment systems which are less efficient. The research team plan to assess the efficacy of the system in a larger hospital in the course of the research project.The Health Research Board invested in this project because it was clear that it would deliver practical and cost effective benefits, both for patients and the health system. We look forward to seeing the technology being adopted in order to improve patient safety and reduce running costs, says Enda Connolly, Chief Executive, HRB.
The manuscript for the study is being published ahead of print. The final, edited article is scheduled to be published in the Journal of Hospital Infection later in 2012.
More information: M.A. Boyle, et al. 2012. Control of bacterial contamination of washbasin taps and output water using Ecasol: a one year study. J. Hosp. Infect. 88.
Provided by Trinity College Dublin
- Philips unveils revolutionary water disinfection solution Nov 03, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Legionnaires' disease outbreak linked to hospital's decorative fountain Jan 09, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Real-world proof of hand washing's effectiveness May 05, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Latest hands-free electronic water faucets found to be hindrance, not help, in infection control Mar 31, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Study finds high level of bacteria in bottled water in Canada May 25, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
No new human cases of the H7N9 virus have been recorded in China for a week, national health authorities said, for the first time since the outbreak began in March.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
A Nobel prize-winning scientist Tuesday played down "shock-horror scenarios" that a new virus strain will emerge with the potential to kill millions of people.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 1 hour ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Bacteria resistant to the antibiotic colistin are also commonly resistant to antimicrobial substances made by the human body, according to a study in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microb ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 6 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(AP)—Federal investigators probing the hantavirus outbreak blamed for three deaths at Yosemite National Park recommend that design changes to tent cabins and other lodging run by private concessionaires first be reviewed ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new diagnostic test for a worm infection that can lead to severe enlargement and deformities of the legs and genitals is far more sensitive than the currently used test, according to results of a field ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Each day, an average of nine people are killed in the United States and more than 1,000 injured by drivers doing something other than driving.
8 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—We spend about a third of our life asleep, but why we need to do so remains a mystery. In a recent publication, researchers at University of Surrey and University College London suggest a new hypothesis, ...
3 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered specific chemical alterations in two genes that, when present during pregnancy, reliably predict whether a woman will develop postpartum depression.
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—A three-year multinational study has tracked and detailed the progression of Huntington's disease (HD), predicting clinical decline in people carrying the HD gene more than 10 years before ...
30 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Children who have suffered maltreatment are 36% more likely to be obese in adulthood compared to non-maltreated children, according to a new study by King's College London. The authors estimate that the prevention or effective ...
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0