Hospital Units Close After 7 Children Infected by Fatal Bacteria




Hospital Units Close After 7 Children Infected by Fatal Bacteria

A hospital in Los Angeles County has closed its pediatrics and neonatal intensive care units after a potentially deadly bacterium infected seven children, possibly killing one infant.

The outbreak of the germ Pseudomonas aeruginosa occurred at White Memorial Hospital where the sick babies will be isolated, stabilized, and transferred to other hospitals in the area.

What Caused the Outbreak?

According to officials, an unsterilized medical instrument, namely a laryngoscope blade that is used to inspect a newborn’s larynx, may have caused the hospital infection.

Sadly, thousands of Americans suffer serious injury and death every year as a result of medical mistakes in hospitals, such as a professional’s failure to properly clean instruments.

The bacterium has infected five babies since Nov. 30, when it was detected. Currently, newborns who have tested negative will be placed in separate areas. “These are very, very sick babies to begin with. (An infection) can increase their chance of dying,” said Dr. Laurene Mascola, director of LA County’s acute communicable disease control unit.

The hospital will continue to investigate the source of the outbreak with federal, state, and county officials in addition to reviewing its procedures for controlling infections.

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