A baby died in Londonderry in December during an outbreak of the same infection that has killed three infants in Belfast's Royal Maternity Hospital, it has emerged
A Department of Health statement confirmed that one baby died just weeks before Christmas from pseudomonas bacterium at a time when there was an outbreak at Altnagelvin Hospital.
The statement continued: “There was an incident of pseudomonas infection in December in the neonatal intensive care unit, Altnagelvin Hospital, in which one baby died.
“All necessary control measures were put in place at the time and the infection was eradicated.
“It is important to note that the strains of pseudomonas infection in Altnagelvin and the Royal Jubilee Maternity are different and there is no evidence to link the current outbreak in the Royal Jubilee Maternity with that of the incident at Altnagelvin in December.”
A spokesman for the Western Trust said: “At the time, all necessary infection prevention and control measures were put in place and the infection has now been eradicated
“Families with babies in the unit were informed of the position and assured that such action was taken as a precautionary measure.
“If a patient or their relative has any issue in relation to their treatment we would encourage them to raise these issues through the trust's comment and complaints system — the Patients' Advocate Office can be contacted on 028 7161 1226.
“The outbreak in Altnagelvin Hospital was eradicated successfully in December and the hospital is now free of this infection.”
The trust spokesman added: “The Western Trust neonatal intensive care unit at Altnagelvin Hospital remains open for new admissions.
“There are currently no cases of psuedomonas bacteraemia infection in the neonatal intensive care unit.
“The trust continues to have stringent infection prevention and control measures in place and we would ask visitors to co-operate with these.”