Rising transesophageal probes with hospital tap water?

Our facility (hospital) has Legionella in its water system and cases of hospital-acquired Legionnaires’ disease, and there currently is a prohibition against drinking the hospital water. All patients are getting their water via bottled water. Is the fact that TEE probes (transesphageal echo) are being rinsed with hospital tap water a problem for infectivity?


This is an important question that you have raised. You are correct. Sterile water should be used for rinsing TEE probes. Please inform your Infection Control practitioner that sterile water must also be used for rinsing nasogastric tubes and respiratory tract equipment. Interestingly, there is a report of 3 cases of hospital-acquired LD transmitted by TEE probes (Levy PY, Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol Aug 2003).