chapter  7
16 Pages

Biofilms in hospital water distribution systems

WithJudy H. Angelbeck, Kirsten M. Thompson, Scott L. Burnett

Overview ........................................................................................................... 93 Biofilm formation in hospital water distribution systems ......................... 98 Nutritional requirements ................................................................................ 98 Physical requirements ..................................................................................... 99

Structure ....................................................................................................... 99 Structure and temperature ......................................................................... 99 Hydrophobicity ......................................................................................... 100 Water pressure ........................................................................................... 100 Temperature ............................................................................................... 100 Evidence of colonization in hospital water distribution systems ................................................................................ 101 Healthcare-associated infection linked to biofilm in hospital water ........................................................................ 102 Whirlpools .................................................................................................. 102 Ice machines ............................................................................................... 102

Strategies to mitigate the risk of exposure ................................................. 103 Control of biofilms in hospital potable water distribution systems ................................................................................ 103 Point-of-use interventions to minimize patient exposure ................... 104

References ........................................................................................................ 106

Overview Nosocomial infections, also referred to as hospital-acquired infections, account for more than ninety thousand deaths in the United States and cost the U.S. healthcare system $4.5 to 5.7 billion [1]. The causes of these infections are primarily attributed to breaches in hospital infection control practices, such as staff hand washing, ensuring the sterility of medical equipment, and providing clean environmental surfaces. Rarely is hospital

water considered a source of exposure increasing the risk of nosocomial infection.