December 7, 2022

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Stavanger universitetssjukehus (SUS)

Patient dies of Legionella at Stavanger University Hospital – NRK Rogaland – Local news, TV and radio

A patient died that month after being diagnosed with a Legionella infection at Stavanger University Hospital (SUS).

– The tests give us reason to believe that the patient was infected with Legionella during his stay with us, says Elizabeth Furbu, deputy executive director of SUS. Press release (external link).

Elizabeth Furbu, Deputy Executive Director at SUS.

Photo: Svein Lunde

The hospital says the death occurred in October, but cannot elaborate on when without considering the patient and relatives.

– When this happens now, it is serious for the hospital, the person involved and the family. This is a sad case for all parties, SUS head of infection control Jan Sundel tells NRK.

People with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible to developing severe disease. No further Legionella infection is suspected in the hospital.

– We don’t have any major deviations. Sundal says that the Stavanger municipality does not supervise either.

Jan Sundal, Infection Control Specialist, Stavanger University Hospital (SUS)

John Sundel, an infection control specialist at SUS.

Photo: Marte Skodje / NRK

Several measures can reduce the risk

The hospital has procedures in place to monitor the presence of Legionella bacteria in the water. Further investigations are now being carried out in various fields.

They show detection of bacteria in hand sinks, but no increased incidence of Legionella. According to the SUS, Legionella values ​​are within the acceptable range.

The hospital says it has taken several measures to reduce the risk of further infection:

  • Increased vigilance and expanded testing of patients with severe pneumonia.
  • More intensive flushing of the shower that is not used regularly.
  • Frequent tests to follow improvements over time, in stable locations, rain and sink. Random samples are usually taken.
  • Extended measurement of chlorine dioxide levels. Elsewhere, chlorine dioxide is added to water in healthcare facilities to reduce Legionella levels.

The big bang in 2001

A in August 2001 Large outbreak of Legionella in Stavanger. A total of 28 people fell ill, seven of whom died.

The source of the infection turned out to be a cooling tower at the Radisson SAS Atlantic Hotel.

Sundal was central when the infection was detected and worked on the outbreak.

– It was very dramatic and we remember it well. The setting is different, but the disease picture for the affected person is the same, he says.

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