Navigation Links
Flooding preparedness needs to include infection prevention and control strategies
Date:1/9/2013

Flooding can cause clinical and economic damage to a healthcare facility, but reopening a facility after extensive flooding requires infection prevention and control preparedness plans to ensure a safe environment for patients and healthcare workers. In a study published in the February issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, clinical investigators report key findings and recommendations related to the closure and re-opening of hospitals impacted by black-water floods. The guidance builds on lessons learned from Thailand and the United States. The findings come as many flood-damaged healthcare facilities in New York and New Jersey look to reopen in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

"The decision to close a hospital or healthcare system because of extensive flooding involves risk mitigation for the health and safety of both patients and healthcare workers," said Anucha Apisarnthanarak, MD, the lead author and an infectious diseases physician at Thammasat University Hospital in Thailand. "Reopening a hospital should be contingent upon assurance of a safe environment that includes clean water for ingestion, hand hygiene, food preparation, and adequate disposal of sewage, waste water, and medical waste."

Reopening of hospitals after excessive flooding requires a balance between meeting the medical needs of the surrounding communities and restoration of a safe hospital environment. Post-flood hospital preparedness plans require interdisciplinary expertise from infection control personnel, environmental health and safety personnel, structural engineers, clinical staff, and hospital administrators. The authors discuss several practical issues relevant to reopening a healthcare system after extensive flooding:

  • Removal of flood waters and site inspection
  • Cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and materials
  • Remediation of mold through evaluation of mold growth in impacted area, including the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system
  • Restoration of air flow
  • Post-flood surveillance of water and air samples and for outbreaks of flood-related infectious diseases

Lessons learned following Hurricane Ike in Galveston, Texas in 2008 provide a foundation for future design, execution, and analysis of black-water flood preparedness. Following the storm many generators and building points of entry for utilities at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston were flooded; electrical power, telephone services, fire alarm systems, information systems, HVAC systems, and most elevators were nonfunctional. The water systems were closed off before the hurricane and remained off for 5-6 days; the linear accelerators in the radiation oncology department were destroyed.

To prevent serious losses from future floods, new linear accelerators were placed in vaults with water-tight doors, all incoming utilities were raised 20 feet, and generators were moved to higher elevations. Three and a half years after the hurricane, a new bed tower is being constructed; all essential services will be located on the upper floors of the support building and new hospital. The first floors of the new hospital and support building will be 12 feet above sea level, and the second floors will be 25 feet above sea level.

Even resource-limited hospitals, like those in Thailand would benefit from such measures. A recent survey of Thai hospitals found that while many hospitals throughout the country had flood protocols similar to those taken in Galveston, only 52 percent had performed protocol-related exercises. The authors estimate that flooding accounted for an estimated loss of $4.8 million USD per hospital associated with extensive floods.

Additionally, while protocols can be costly, measures to ensure a safe post-flood hospital environment are not necessarily resource dependent. A post-flood study conducted at a Thai hospital reported use of settle plates, an evaluation measuring the airborne viable particles that settle on a plate of medium, for measuring fungal bioburden where air sampling in open units may be cost prohibitive.

"Time and again, we have seen hospitals worldwide suffer devastating clinical and economic implications as a result of catastrophic flooding," said Apisarnthanarak. "The healthcare community needs to come together, from infection control epidemiologists to hospital administration, to effectively create and implement flood preparedness plans that can mitigate risks both to patient safety and structural damage."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kate Enos
kenos@gymr.com
202-745-5071
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Daytop New Jersey Launches Annual Holiday Appeal to Raise Money for Disaster Preparedness
2. Southern Medical Journal presents special issue on disaster preparedness
3. States Lagging in Emergency Preparedness: Report
4. Disaster-Preparedness Tips for People With Disabilities
5. New Blog Post from iHealthology.com Announces that 4 Minutes A Day Is All It Takes To Get The Exercise a Person Needs
6. The Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts (CCTA) Announces Its Theater Program for Special Needs Youth
7. ASU experts say US needs to shift healthcare emphasis to pay for value
8. Primary Care Doctors Meet Needs of Diabetics, Study Says
9. National nursing conference to address veterans health needs
10. New policies recognize needs of vulnerable sexual communities
11. Poor Sleep Among Preschoolers May Be Tied to Special Ed Needs Later
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... enterprise Data Center Infrastructure Management solutions, announces today the availability of its ... in the area of capacity management and optimization, providing new analytical capabilities ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... in Aesthetic Surgery Education and Anzu®, developers of the AnzuMedical™ Knowledge Sharing ... Plastic Surgery Collaborative Residency Network. The platform is scheduled to launch in July ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Cary, NC (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2016 ... ... to announce it has partnered with Community Oncology Pharmacy Association (COPA) to develop ... elevate the practice of oncology by introducing an accreditation distinction. ACHC provides a ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... ... The Aging in Motion Coalition (AIM) has announced the Centers ... it recognition for separate reporting and data collection. The code, M62.84, will be available ... as a combination of low muscle mass and weakness in older adults that causes ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... 28, 2016 , ... The USDA recently released its updated Dietary Guidelines for ... While there is a lot of information available in the report, older men should ... issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch . , These include: , 1.    Vary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Research ... "Global Plastic Surgery Products Market 2016-2020" report to ... ) , The global plastic surgery products ... 9.47% during the period 2016-2020. , ,The growing adoption ... to the growth of the market. Lasers are used ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , Net Sales of $1.90 billion represent ... prior year period, and an increase of 1.2% on an ... for the first quarter were $0.52 reported, a decrease of ... increase of 29.9% over the prior year period , ... for 2016 Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 ... development of innovative peptide and gene-based immunotherapeutics and vaccines for ... will be presenting at the 3rd Annual Growth Capital ... 5 th , 2016 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.  ... am on Wednesday, May 4 th by Dr. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: