Public Health England (PHE) issued advisory warnings in earlier this month following the heated birthing pool recall in June 2014. Since the recall, a total of 10 pools have been tested after being returned. Test results are available for six of the 10; four of the six came back positive for Legionella bacteria.
The risks associated with the use of heated birthing pools were published on July 24, 2014 in Eurosurveillance, a European scientific journal.
According to Professor Nick Phin, the head of Legionnaires’ disease at PHE, “These latest results have strengthened already serious concerns about the safety of heated birthing pools in the home setting and the potential for contamination from a number of organisms which are recognized causes of infection, and pose particular risks to new born babies.
“Consequently the PHE recommendation remains that heated birthing pools (incorporating both a re-circulation pump and heater), filled in advance of labour, should not be used for labour or birth at home.
“PHE will review this recommendation if evidence is provided of a safe system for use in the home. However at this point in time, it appears unlikely that hired-out, re-used, heated pools can be made safe to use for labour or birth in the home setting.
“We do not have concerns about purchased or hired pools that are filled from domestic hot water supplies at the onset of labour, provided that any pumps are used solely for pool emptying.”
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