This paper examines how legionella bacteria affect the operation of a hospital. The subject is treated from three different points of views. The first point of view is how the legionella problem is being handled in the Danish law. The second point of view is an investigation of whether and if, then how, the politics of Region Syddanmark deals with legionella bacteria and the quality of tap water in hospitals. Here it is also discussed how the politics may be improved. The politics regarding legionella control in Vejle Sygehus (Denmark) are also clarified and discussed, and proposals are being made towards optimizing the control measures. The third point of view is an inspection of which portable water system types that are in use at Vejle Sygehus. Then the law, politics, and national / international recommendations are held against a specific problematic portable water system at Vejle Sygehus.
Water samples for legionella analyses and temperature measure are taken in two different tapping points in the system. The first sample is taken from the most remote tapping point in the system, and the second sample is taken from the tapping point where patients are most exposed in terms of health and general water exposure. To increase the validity of the legionella analyses, two water samples were taken at each of the tap points, and sent to two different accredited laboratories for analysis.
Temperature measures were carried out in key parts of the system to check whether or not the temperature control regimes were working probably.
The results of all the analysis are discussed in regard of possible ways to optimize the system and control regime. Furthermore the results of the legionella analyses are compared and debated because of a difference between the results from the two laboratories.
The legionella control methods at Vejle Sygehus are compared to four other hospitals in Region Syddanmark to see if any of the other hospitals control methods could be transferred to the portable water system at Vejle Sygehus.
The results of all the analyses are that several improvements can be made to the portable water system. One of the proposed improvements includes implementing a water filtering system called BIN-X, which should make it possible to prevent legionella bacteria from entering the portable water system. All the other changes involve adjusting maintenance, temperatures, and excluding a hot water tank.