Hospital identifies source of infections that killed 3 infants

11 Novembre, 2019, 19:09 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Image via UPI

Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania, said on Friday that equipment used to measure and administer donor breast milk had been contaminated with a bacteria called Pseudomonas.

The tests have indicated to the presence of Pseudomonas bacterium, and the presence of the parasite was found on the equipment used for measuring and administering the donor milk.

"We have had no new cases of infants becoming ill from pseudomonas in the NICU since making this change", Dr. Edward Hartle, Geisinger's executive vice president and chief medical officer, said in a statement. Since the revelation, the hospital told it has shifted to using single-use equipment.

The bacteria is common and usually harmless, but can cause serious illness or death among patients who are very young, very old, or have underlying medical conditions.

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"We are certain the milk itself was not the cause of the exposure", he said. The hospital said it will continue doing so as it consults with state health officials on when it can resume normal operations.

"We would like to extend our honest apologies to the families who have been affected by this incident", Hartle's statement read. Three babies died and five others fell ill over a two-month span after the discovery, according to a hospital spokesman.

Among those who died were baby Abel Cepeda, who arrived 13 weeks premature in late September and died six days later. But he said he does not yet know whether those earlier infections were the result of a problem with the hospital's breast milk equipment. "We know that the public holds us to the highest standards, and we will continue to strive to live up to those expectations as we have throughout our history, constantly improving on what we do and how we do it", Hartle told. "We now have further work to decide whether these infection control procedures were deficient for some time longer than Geisinger's statement suggests", the family's attorney, Matt Casey, said to The Associated Press.

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