Probe After Baby Dies From Blood Poisoning

A probe has been launched after a baby being treated in intensive care died from blood poisoning through an infection caught from a suspected contaminated drip.

The infant was being treated at the neonatal unit at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London, a spokeswoman for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust said.

Public Health England (PHE) said it is investigating 15 cases of septicaemia in babies at six hospitals in England.

A spokeswoman for theTrust said the infection was discovered on May 31.

She added: “The infection has affected three babies. Sadly one of these babies has died. The other two are responding well to antibiotics.

“All babies on the unit are being screened for the bacterium as a precaution and enhanced infection control measures have been put in place to prevent any further cases.”

The hospitals where babies have fallen ill are Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust (four cases), Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (three cases), Whittington Hospital (one case), Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (three cases), CUH Addenbrookes(two cases) and Luton and Dunstable University Hospital (two cases).

PHE said the cases have been “strongly linked” with a number of batches of a liquid called parenteral nutrition, which was fed to the babies intravenously.

The affected babies were in neonatal intensive care units at the hospitals.

Professor Mike Catchpole, PHE’s incident director, said: “We have acted quickly to investigate this issue …and we have taken action to ensure that the affected batches and any remaining stock of this medicine is not being used in hospitals.”

Parenteralnutrition is usually produced under sterilised conditions to cut the risk that the product could result in infections.

PHE said investigations with the company had identified an incident that might have caused the contamination.

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued a Class 1 Drug Alert over the suspected batch of contaminated liquid.

Class 1 is the most critical alert and requires immediate recall. PHE saidITH Pharma Limited, which makes the batch in question, had already issued a recall notice.

The bacteria that has caused the infection is Bacillus cereus, which is found widely in the environment in dust, soil and vegetation.

PHE said most surfaces would test positive for the presence of the bacteria. It produces hardy spores that, in the right conditions, produce a toxin which causes illness.

4 June 2014 | 6:38 pm – Source: orange.co.uk
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