Uses in Medical and Healthcare Settings
Water plays an important role in the health care field. From washing surgical tools and equipment to creating a soothing environment for patients to have hydrotherapy, water is essential to the effectiveness of the health industry. However, moist environments and liquid solutions can create a favorable setting for the growth of many bacterial and some protozoal microbes. Waterborne diseases can be spread through:
- Direct contact (for example, hydrotherapy)
- Ingestion of water (for example, drinking water)
- Indirect-contact (for example, medical/dental tool or equipment)
- Inhalation of aerosols from water sources *
- Aspiration of water *
- Blood contact (for example, hemodialysis)
Due to weakened immune systems of many patients, it is vital that water used in health care settings is not contaminated.
For more information on Infection Control in Healthcare Facilities, visit CDC’s Infection Control in Healthcare Settings page.
For specific information on Infection Control Guidelines for healthcare professionals, visit CDC’s Infection Control Guidelines page.
For information on other resources, visit Healthy Water’s Medical Water Resources.
*Inhalation and aspiration of water sources contaminated with Legionella spp. often serve as the vehicle for introducing legionellae to the respiratory tract, resulting in Pontiac Fever or Legionnaires’ Disease.