Northern Ireland Baby Deaths - Killer Bacteria Traced To Another Hospital
The bug responsible for the deaths of four babies in Northern Ireland has been found in another of the region's hospitals.
Separate outbreaks of the pseudomonas bacteria claimed the life of one infant in Altnagelvin in Londonderry last month, plus three babies in the neonatal unit at Belfast's Royal Jubilee Maternity hospital in recent weeks. Last weekend 24 babies at the hospital were tested for signs of infection.
After the presence of the bacteria in taps forced a refit of both units, officials revealed Pseudomonas was detected in water outlets in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Ulster Hospital outside Belfast.
In a statement, health chiefs said: "All babies in the unit have been tested and the results indicate that no baby has tested positive for Pseudomonas.
"Babies will continue to be screened on an ongoing basis. Parents of babies in the unit have been informed of the position."
Staff in hospitals have been told to avoid using tap water with babies, while tests on water outlets and necessary refits are carried out.
The health service update on the outbreaks said: "According to the latest figures, there are no new cases of Pseudomonas infection at the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital's (RJMH) neonatal unit, so the overall total who have been infected in this outbreak remains at seven.
"It was also confirmed yesterday (Friday) that the number of babies who have the Pseudomonas bacteria on their skin associated with the RJMH outbreak remains unchanged at seven.
"It is not causing active infection in these babies."
It said all necessary precautions are being taken to avoid the spread of infection.