Sacred Heart’s Water Supply 'All Clear' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sacred Heart’s Water Supply 'All Clear'

SPOKANE, Wash. - On Thursday Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital received final notification that its water supply is free of the Legionella bacteria originally found in April. Nalco, the certified vendor which treated the hospital's water system, officially verified that cultures from all samples taken after treatment of Sacred Heart's water supply on May 5th are negative. 

These results have been shared with the Spokane Regional Health District, Washington State Department of Health and the CDC.

As a result, Sacred Heart is immediately lifting the water restrictions it had put in place to ensure the safety of employees, patients and visitors when the Legionella bacteria were found. Normal consumption and usage of water throughout the facility will resume for all people, even patients who were designated as high risk due to compromised immune systems.

To ensure the safety of employees and patients at Providence Holy Family Hospital, its water supply has been cleaned and treated with chlorine, following the same protocol recommended for Sacred Heart. 

Providence is also doing a risk assessment of other facilities such as St. Joseph's Care Center and Emilie Court Assisted Living. Based on CDC recommendations, Providence Health Care will engage Nalco to develop and implement a long-term water remediation process to prevent Legionella bacteria from developing again.

"Sacred Heart is taking a number of proactive measures as a sign of our commitment to safety," says Chief Medical Officer Jeff Collins, MD. "While we've had no additional cases of Legionella since the original three cases in January and March, we will continue testing for bacteria periodically to ensure that the water remediation efforts have been completely successful."

Collins says physicians and clinical staff will be encouraged to order relevant testing for new cases among patients who have symptoms that may suggest a Legionella infection. 

In addition, experts at Sacred Heart will continue education among the medical staff and the public regarding existence of legionella bacteria and the identification of Legionnaire's disease. 

 

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