70th AHCA/NCAL Convention and Expo
This session will focus on the public health risk of Legionnaires’ disease (LD), well documented approaches to preventing outbreaks and the new CMS requirements on having a water management plan.
Legionnaires’ disease is a serious, potentially deadly form of bacterial pneumonia. Infection results from inhaling water mists and aerosols contaminated with the bacteria, known as Legionella. The primary sources of infection are Legionella-contaminated water from showers, faucets, cooling towers, hydrotherapy pools and decorative water features such as fountains or water walls. The U.S. CDC reports a 300% increase in cases of LD diagnosed over the past 15 years. The fatality rate is 25% for people infected in a healthcare environment including long-term care and hospitals. Reducing the risk of LD is a winnable battle. According to the CDC, nine out of 10 (90%) outbreaks of LD are preventable through a water management program.
Participants will learn how the Legionella bacteria enter a long term care facility and how they grow in premise plumbing systems. The speakers will illustrate the potential risk of an outbreak of LD using three highly publicized case studies. The session will cover the seven (7) steps that administrators, nursing and engineering staff need to include in a water management program and be in compliance with CMS QSO-17-30.