What is pseudomonas aeruginosa?”
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common bacterium found in the environment and water systems. It is able to grow slowly in cold water from temperatures of around 4-5°C and dies in the low 50s°C. Research suggests that it grows up the tap outlet and sits on the surface of the water system hardware such as pipes, taps, showerheads and tank sides rather than in the main distribution system. This means that it may not be evident in the main body of the water, even when it is on the surface of the pipework.
On the 31st March 2012 the NHS initially published the “Water sources and potential Pseudomonas aeruginosa contamination of taps and water systems” advice for augmented care units. The Department of Health published an addendum to Hospital Technical Memorandum 04-01 on 12th March 2013, to include specific legislation on Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Read Zeta’s Technical Director, Giles Green’s, Blog of the Month entitled “Pseudomonas; posing a potentially fatal risk to whom exactly?” for more information on which specfic sectors and industries need to implement a pseudomonas Water Safety Plan immediately.
Who is at risk from pseudomonas aeruginosa?
The most serious danger of pseudomonas aeruginosa is to individuals with weakened immune systems because the bacterium takes advantage of their ill health. Therefore, special care must be taken to guard immunosuppressed individuals from potentially fatal risks.
The Healthcare sector has to recognise many clinical risk factors due to the immunosuppressed patients it houses. Specific consideration needs to be given to those in augmented care such as burns units, patients with indwelling devices, neonatal units and paediatric and adult critical care.
Dentistry practices should be aware of the risk of infections via the gums. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream quickly in this way and this route has been linked to infections to the heart.
The Hospitality industry should also be alert because they are unable to know or control the health status of their clientele. This is also true for any kind of rented accommodation such as universities, army barracks and rented housing.
- Malignant otitis externa (Swimmer’s ear) – a bigger problem for those undergoing chemotherapy or who are diabetics.
- Endopthalmitis (eye infection) – the eyeball swells and becomes very sore. In extreme cases it can cause blindness.
- Pseudomonas folliculitis (hot tub rash) – It can occur from general bathing. Some cases can develop complications and treatment can last many months.
- Endocarditis – inflammation of the lining of the heart which often leads to valve failure and replacement.
- Meningitis – An inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.
- Pneumonia – An inflammatory condition of the lung.
- Septicemia – An infection in the blood which affects the whole body.
How Zeta can help with pseudomonas control
Zeta can help you with all stages of pseudomonas control, no matter your estate size, budget or timeline.
Pseudomonas Risk Assessment & Sampling
Firstly, you need to appoint a ‘Responsible Person’ to manage the risk of pseudomonas. We can then create a Water Safety Plan that assesses your pseudomonas risk. Zeta can advise you about consideration of individuals at risk, control measures and incident protocols to ensure that you’re equipped to deal with whatever you find when sampling. We can also guide and warn you about consequential risks that may come as a result of controlling pseudomonas. You need to ensure you are not generating new dangers by introducing chemicals into the water or creating scald risks by raising water temperatures.
If your Pseudomonas Risk Assessment has pinpointed any training requirements then we can tailor a variety of training courses in varying formats to satisfy your needs. Giles Green will be giving an overview of the topic of pseudomonas at our CIBSE approved legionella training dates.
ZetaSafe® – Electronic logbook
Remove the worry of human error and the stress of paper reports with an electronic logbook. Collect, Manage and Share real-time data for all of your assets, allowing you to easily identify trends and issues. Enjoy complete visibility of pseudomonas compliance across your whole organisation with ZetaSafe®.