New Shower Filter Helps Protect Against Waterborne Pathogens

PORTSMOUTH, UK --With each new Legionella outbreak that causes illness or death, hospitals around the world are seeking better methods in their drive to stop the problem of hospital-acquired infections. They are increasingly turning to point-of-use filtration to protect patients from waterborne pathogens, a contributor to healthcare-associated infections, length of hospital stay and death. Pall Corporation today introduced in Europe its latest point-of-use filter showerhead that efficiently protects against pathogens, including Legionella spp., found in water used for showering, bathing and other hygienic procedures.


The new Pall-Aquasafe disposable showerhead is a CE-marked medical device that removes bacteria and protozoa for up to 14 days. The new showerhead offers significant advantages over previously available shower filters with its longer duration of protection (14 vs. seven days) against a wide range of waterborne pathogens, not just Legionella. Its unique combination of design and materials provides numerous benefits to health care facilities for savings in labor, cost and waste disposal.


Although Legionella spp. is the most widely recognized waterborne bacteria, it is far from the only microorganism that threatens hospital patients. Recent studies estimate that there are approximately 1,400 deaths in the United States annually due to water-associated nosocomial pneumonia from Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. P. aeruginosa is a potentially lethal bacterium especially for people with weakened immune systems. Further exacerbating the problem is the bacteria's dramatic and growing increase in resistance to antibiotic treatment. This past month, another waterborne bacterium, the deadly and antibiotic-resistant Acinetobacter, was linked to 101 cases and 39 deaths in a major London hospital.


"The new showerhead is the optimal barrier to waterborne microorganisms especially for areas with high-risk or immunocompromised patients," says Dr. Stefan Rother, global marketing manager, hospital water for Pall Corporation. "And it is significantly less costly than sterile bottled or commercially available bottled water".


"This latest addition to the Pall-Aquasafe family of filters expands choices for hospitals and health care institutions to be able to select the products most appropriate for their needs throughout their facility," adds Rother. The new showerhead complements the Pall line of disposable filters for faucets, showers and in-line water use.


The benefits of the new showerhead are a result of a unique combination of design and materials. It incorporates Pall's proprietary Ultipleat construction to capture microorganisms while also providing a higher flow rate. The showerhead also incorporates an upgraded bacteriostatic additive lessening the risk of retrograde contamination, a problem common to tap or shower filters. It is compatible with a wide range of commonly used systemic water treatment processes including chlorine dioxide and thermal disinfection.

In many instances, hospitals practice systemic disinfection procedures to treat Legionella and other pathogens in their water systems in accordance with infection control guidelines and government regulations. Despite these measures, the problem of waterborne hospital-acquired infection still persists. Systemic treatments have limited efficiencies to destroy biofilm where microorganisms grow and are protected against thermal and chemical procedures. Certain pathogenic bacteria, such as Legionella, are additionally protected inside amoebas. Pall-Aquasafe filters provide a proven absolute barrier from waterborne microorganisms including amoebas and highly contaminated biofilm particles at any time point.


"We need to break the infection chain between water and patients," says Rother. "Adding Pall's point-of-use filters provides a protective barrier that interrupts the transmission pathways of these microorganisms and can also reduce a patient's time in the hospital and costs."


Source: Pall Corporation