Quarantine at CWM after baby deaths blamed on hospital infection

The health ministry has introduced a quarantine in sections of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Colonial War Memorial Hospital.

Staff Writers

June 21, 2017 7:41 pm

In a statement, Permanent Secretary for Health, Phillip Davis said four babies had died at CWM over the past 23 days, with tests showing the infants had contracted the Acinetobacter baumanii bacteria.

However, Mr Davis stated that the causes of death for the four babies were pre-existing conditions such as perinatal asphyxia, pneumonia and severe prematurity.

Subsequent blood and spinal fluid tests showed that the infants had also contracted the Acinetobacter baumanii bacterium. There is no evidence that this bacterium, which is widespread in hospitals around the world, caused the deaths of these infants.

Newswire understands parents had blamed the health ministry for the untimely deaths of the babies.

Mr Davis said the health ministry imposed the “partial quarantine” in sections of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, as a precaution.

All new neonatal admissions requiring intensive care are being treated in areas of the NICU where there is no serious risk of bacterial infection.

The permanent secretary played down the infections, saying they were “an ever-present risk for hospitals in every country in the world, particularly in intensive care units.”

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