ePlasty: Vol. 11
Water Temperature From Hot Water Outlets in a Major Public Hospital: How Hot is Our Water?
Dana Hartley,a Ashlee McCarthy,a and John E. Greenwoodb, AM, BSc(Hons), MBChB, MD, FRCS(Eng), FRCS(Plast), FRACS

aMedical School, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia; and bAdult Burn Centre, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia


Correspondence: john.greenwood@health.sa.gov.au

Objectives: To measure the water temperature issuing from a representative sample of patient-accessible outlets around the Royal Adelaide Hospital. To initiate an audit cycle in the event of unacceptably high water temperatures to ensure their reduction. Methods: Samples were taken of water issuing from hot taps, showers, and hand hygiene basins in patient areas throughout the hospital, encompassing newly renovated as well as old sections of the hospital. A 45 second “warming” period was followed by hot water collection into a polystyrene cup to 8 cm. The mean of 3 temperatures measured using an infrared thermometer was calculated. Results: Several taps and patient showers were demonstrated to supply water at a temperature capable of causing scald injuries. Most problem outlets were found in the oldest section of the hospital, fewer in the wing of “intermediate” age and none in the most recently renovated emergency block. The data were tabulated and summarized before being passed on to RAH Engineering and Building Services, .......