Norway’s major hospital for cancer patients, Radiumhospitalet in Oslo, banned all use of its showers and warned both patients and employees against drinking its tap water last weekend, after discovering Legionnaire’s bacteria in its water system.
The hospital is part of the Oslo University Hospital group, and a representative for its nurses, Merete Norheim Morken, told newspaper Aftenposten that there’s been a lack of maintenance at the hospital for several years. She thinks it’s serious that the Legionnaire’s bacteria was found at Radiumhospitalet after a cancer patient developed pneumonia.
“Sick patients are especially vulnerable to becoming quite ill from bacteria,” Norheim Morken told Aftenposten. “There should be extra good routines for preventing it.”
Per Oddvar Synnes, the hospital’s ombudsman, said it was difficult to comment on the reason for the bacteria. Hospital officials suspected water temperature in the pipes that was too low, and all shower heads were being replaced this week.