Focus: Plumbing

CDC says water-related outbreaks account for one-fifth of its HAI consultations

April 22, 2019

From 2014 to 2017, more than one-fifth of healthcare-associated outbreak consultations undertaken by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were for non-Legionella water-related investigations, according to an article on the Healio website.

“Water exposures in healthcare settings and during healthcare delivery” — such as when used with medical devices or as a component of drug or medication formulations — “can place patients at risk for infection with water-related organisms and can potentially lead to outbreaks,” wrote Kiran M. Perkins, MD, MPH, team lead for outbreak and response at the CDC, in a retrospective observational study.

For their study, Perkins and colleagues reviewed CDC records detailing consultations involving potential or confirmed healthcare transmission of water-related organisms that were conducted by the agency between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2017. 

The researchers reported that 29.9 percent of the water-related investigations involved nontuberculous mycobacteria and 35.8 percent involved medical products, including 83.3 percent that involved a medical device, such as heater-cooler devices and bronchoscopes.

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Topic Area: Infection Control


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