Belfast Telegraph

Altnagelvin Hospital: Deep clean at baby ward after infection found

Western Trust confirms increase in cases of bloodstream infection

By John Mulgrew

A thorough deep clean is being carried out at Londonderry's Altnagelvin hospital after three babies were found to have a blood infection.

The Western Health and Social Care Trust confirmed that cases of the Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus Aureus (MSSA) bloodstream infection had been found at its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

The bacteria - which naturally occurs on the skin of babies and adults and is commonly found there or in the nose -  is not normally a risk to healthy people.

But it does pose a potential risk to a small number.

Dr Anne Kilgallen, medical director with the Western Trust said that since May this year, three babies had been diagnosed with the infection.

"MSSA bloodstream infection occurs from time to time, however it is unusual to have a cluster of three infections," she said.

"Early indications are that the same type of organism is involved in each case.

"In light of this the Trust would like to assure the public that robust infection prevention and control measures are in place."

The includes "supplementary baby and environmental screening" along with a  "thorough deep clean and decontamination process"

"The unit continues to work very closely with the Trust's infection prevention and control team and remains open to admissions, though it will temporarily not receive any transfers from other Trust areas," Dr Kilgallen said.

"We will continue to work closely with the Public Health Agency (PHA) as we monitor the situation over the coming days."

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