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Pseudomonas; posing a potentially fatal risk to whom exactly?

By March 1, 2013May 16th, 2017Giles Green

As the Department of Health has recently published an addendum to Hospital Technical Memorandum 04-01 to include specific legislation on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, it seems everyone has a lot of work to do and not much time to do it…Or do they?

Because although pseudomonas presents potentially fatal consequences to some people, it doesn’t to everybody, therefore you need to make sure that your plan of action is appropriate and proportionate to the size of your problem.

Pseudomonas is a common bacterium that occurs naturally in the environment, can colonise water systems and, whether you like it or not, it’s all over you right now.

We come into contact with pseudomonas everyday and it can cause minor infections in healthy individuals, but the good news is that they almost always clear up on their own. That just leaves us with the effects that pseudomonas contamination has on unhealthy individuals…

So here comes the crucial question for your Water Safety Group to answer before you embark upon creating and implementing a Water Safety Plan or Pseudomonas Risk Assessment  – Do immunosuppressed individuals come into contact with your water system?

If the answer is no, then your plan for pseudomonas control should be limited and the real caution is to warn yourself against “cowboy” companies who will try to exploit your willingness to stay safe and compliant. However, if the answer is yes, then you do seriously need to take action and you need to take it now.

The Healthcare sector is most at risk from pseudomonas due to immunosuppressed patients. Hospitals need to be aware of the pseudomonas risk in burns units, neo-natal units, paediatric and adult critical care, and to those with indwelling devices. The Healthcare sector needs to have a Water Safety Plan for Pseudomonas aeruginosa control in place, with a Pseudomonas Risk Assessment that identifies specific units and wards where patients are at a particular risk from water-borne contamination.

But pseudomonas is also presenting a risk to those in the dentistry and hospitality sectors and those who provide any kind of rented accommodation. Could you be certain that you knew the health status of every person in your clientele and thus guarantee that there were no immunosuppressed individuals coming into contact with your water system? If the answer is no, you need to review your Water Safety Plan.

At Zeta we’re prioritising who we advise about Pseudomonas aeruginosa – be alert and act immediately if you house immunosuppressed individuals, be aware and prepared in the dentistry and hospitality sectors, and for anyone else, be knowledgeable…for now!

Providing intelligent advice for intelligent compliance, that’s the Zeta way.