Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Deep clean for baby deaths hospital

Three babies died from an infection at Belfast's Royal Maternity Hospital

A deep clean of the hospital where three babies died has been completed this weekend, officials have confirmed.

No new cases of the infection have been found, said Northern Ireland's Department of Health.

The parents of 24 children treated in the neonatal unit of Belfast's Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital were anxiously awaiting the results of tests.

Five babies who have the pseudomonas bacteria on their skin have been identified. This is not causing active infection.

Three babies died and three others have contracted the infection, which affects the chest, blood and urinary tract. A helpline set up to support expectant mothers worried about giving birth at the neonatal unit has been extended due to demand.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "Further tests for pseudomonas have not shown any new cases of infection in the outbreak at the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital, and the total remains at six.

"The neonatal network is currently managing well. Some mothers due to give birth or babies who require special neonatal care may be transferred to another unit, as would be normal practice. This will be on the basis of specialist, clinical advice to ensure babies receive the most appropriate care."

All babies remaining in the unit have now been screened. Parents have been informed of the result for their babies.

Decontamination of the intensive care part of the neo-natal unit at the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital is now complete. The affected area in the unit at the hospital will remain closed while a team of specialists continues attempts to identify the most likely sources of the infection.

All other maternity services and wards in the Royal Jubilee Hospital are fully operational and working as normal.

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