Water Problems at Regional Hospital of Scranton

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Patients at a hospital in Scranton have had limited use of running water for days.

Officials at Regional Hospital of Scranton and state health officials tell Newswatch 16 they're testing for bacteria in the water.

Patients say they haven't been able to drink anything but bottled water for several days, and at times, have had limited use of showers.

Newswatch 16 spoke with a mother whose adult child has been a patient at the hospital on Jefferson Avenue since last week. Never an ideal situation, but this stay has been even more uncomfortable because of the limited use of running water.

The mother, who didn't want to be identified, says information about the water situation has been limited, too.

"They told him that he couldn't take a shower because they were fixing the pipes. When we questioned the hospital about them fixing the pipes, they had told us that there was a possibility of Legionnaire's being in the water," she said.

Hospital officials say Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaire's disease, has not been detected in the water, but officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Health tell Newswatch 16 they are working with the hospital on an investigation that is affecting patients' use of the water supply.

The agency's press secretary said in an email, "We are investigating some cases of Legionella and determining if they are linked to the facility."

Regional Hospital officials tell us water testing could take another few days and that it's not affecting patient care.

Hospital officials said in a statement:

"We are working with the Department of Health to conduct water sample testing and treatment as part of our work to provide patients with a safe environment of care. Water usage is being limited during this time and patients are being provided with bottled water and packaged bathing materials."

State health officials have not said where the cases of Legionella were first detected or if anyone became sick because of the bacteria. Hospital officials expect the water testing to wrap up by the end of this week.

1 Comment

  • ceeshell13

    The hospital has been secretive with employees. One day there were signs everywhere to not use the water. Then another day no signs but some employees saying we can use the water and others saying we can’t. If it’s serious there should be leadership and clear information on the water usage !!

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