Birmingham VA Medical Center Found Low Levels of Legionella Bacteria

Birmingham (Ala.) Veterans Affairs Medical Center found "low levels" of Legionella bacteria in the water system in April, which was enough to delay the hospital's first ever kidney transplant, according to an AL.com report.

The news comes soon after eight patients in one unit of Birmingham, Ala.-based UAB Hospital tested positive for Legionella, two of whom died soon after. Legionella, which thrives in warm water, can lead to a form of pneumonia, legionellosis.

AL.com obtained the information regarding Birmingham VA Medical Center from an "all employee" email. According to the report, the email stated, "Birmingham VA Medical Center routinely tests our water and conducts required preventive maintenance. One of the organisms we routinely test for is Legionella. Although recent samples showed very low levels of Legionella, in accordance with BVAMC and VHA policy, we underwent a process to aggressively treat our water using thermal eradication."

The decision to delay the hospital's first renal transplant was also mentioned in the email, according to the report.

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