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State Regulation of Hospital Water Temperature

  • Adam S. Mandel (a1), Mary Ann Sprauer (a2), David H. Sniadack (a3) and Stephen M. Ostroff (a3)

Abstract

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to determine current regulations and policies in the United States concerning maximal water temperatures in acute care hospitals.

Design:

A standardized questionnaire administered by telephone to health department officials from 50 states and the District of Columbia.

See also page 636

Setting:

State Health Departments in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Results:

All states responded to the survey. Respondents from 39 states (77%) reported regulating maximum allowable hospital water temperature at a mean of 116°F (median, 120°F; mode 110°F; range, 110°F to 129°F). Twelve states (23%) have no regulations for maximum water temperature. Of the 39 states regulating maximum water temperature, 30 (77%) routinely monitor hospital compliance. Nine states (23%) conduct inspections only in response to a complaint or incident.

Conclusions:

There is great variation among the states with respect to the existence, enforcement, and specific regulations controlling hospital water temperature. Risk-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses would help to assess the risk of scald injuries at water temperatures that will inhibit microbial contamination (Infect Con-trol HOsp Epidemiol 1993;14:642-645).

Copyright

Corresponding author

Indiana University School of Medicine, 635 Barnhill Ds, Medical Science Building, Room 162, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5120

References

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State Regulation of Hospital Water Temperature

  • Adam S. Mandel (a1), Mary Ann Sprauer (a2), David H. Sniadack (a3) and Stephen M. Ostroff (a3)

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