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Hospital Impact After a Chemical Spill That Compromised the Potable Water Supply: West Virginia, January 2014

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 March 2017

Joy Hsu*
Affiliation:
Epidemic Intelligence Service, Office of Public Health Scientific Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
Maria C. del Rosario
Affiliation:
Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services, West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, Charleston, West Virginia
Erica Thomasson
Affiliation:
Epidemic Intelligence Service, Office of Public Health Scientific Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia Career Epidemiology Field Officer Program, Division of State and Local Readiness, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office of Environmental Health Services, West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, Charleston, West Virginia
Danae Bixler
Affiliation:
Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services, West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, Charleston, West Virginia
Loretta Haddy
Affiliation:
Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services, West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, Charleston, West Virginia
Mary Anne Duncan
Affiliation:
Environmental Health Surveillance Branch, Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia
*
Correspondence and reprint request to Dr Joy Hsu, Medical Officer, Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway Mailstop F-60, Atlanta, GA 30341 (e-mail: xdd6@cdc.gov).

Abstract

In January 2014, a chemical spill of 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol and propylene glycol phenyl ethers contaminated the potable water supply of approximately 300,000 West Virginia residents. To understand the spill’s impact on hospital operations, we surveyed representatives from 10 hospitals in the affected area during January 2014. We found that the spill-related loss of potable water affected many aspects of hospital patient care (eg, surgery, endoscopy, hemodialysis, and infection control of Clostridium difficile). Hospital emergency preparedness planning could be enhanced by specifying alternative sources of potable water sufficient for hemodialysis, C. difficile infection control, and hospital processing and cleaning needs (in addition to drinking water). (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:621–624)

Type
Report from the Field
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc. 2017 

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