Dublin man caught legionnaires from bath tub

 

A man who died from Legionnaires' disease in Dublin caught the bug while viewing a house that was for sale, it emerged today.

Mr Robert Brophy leaned over to feel the temperature of water in a hot tub and contracted the bug, Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA) confirmed.

His daughter Geraldine said he spent hours waiting on a trolley before being treated and was sent to three different hospitals.

She said doctors took a week to diagnose her father, who is one of two people to have died from the disease in the State in the past two weeks.

"He had gone to look at a house for me and it had a hot tub in an area outside the house on a deck," she told RTE radio.

"He bent down to feel the water which was quite hot and bubbly and - we only found this out subsequently - he inhaled the vapour.

"Of course the Legionnaires' bacteria legionella is carried on water droplets in the air, so just from that secondary kind of inhalation of the pool, that's how he actually contracted it."

She described the manner in which her father was treated by the health service as "traumatic".

"The doctor gave him antibiotics and then on Friday he seemed to get better but on Saturday he deteriorated a lot," she said.

Mr Brophy was then sent to Dublin's Tallaght Hospital, his doctor having advised he should be sent straight to a ward.

"Unfortunately he ended up waiting on a chair in casualty from four o'clock in the afternoon until 12 and then on a trolley in casualty until seven o'clock the next evening," his daughter said.

He was transferred to Blanchardstown Hospital but doctors told his relatives they did not know what was wrong with him.

"They were treating him in the blind," his daughter said. "That came as a total shock to us."

The next day a microbiologist diagnosed Mr Brophy as having Legionnaires' Disease and he later was moved to Beaumont Hospital.

He died of multi-organ failure on April 17th.

A spokeswoman for the ERHA confirmed that Mr Brophy had caught the disease while viewing a house.

PA