Prem baby's death closes Toronto neonatal unit

A neonatal intensive care unit in a Toronto hospital has been forced to close following the death of a premature baby there from a bacteria deadly to premature infants.

The tiny baby which was born two weeks ago died from serratia in the unit at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Dr. Allison McGeer, director of infection control says the infant died of bacteremia, commonly known as blood poisoning after acquiring serratia, a harmful pathogen that causes severe infections in babies.

The baby's death has triggered concerns and prompted special infection control procedures, including improved hand hygiene and the wearing of gowns and gloves in the neonatal intensive care unit which cares for some of the sickest, most fragile babies in Toronto.

Serratia causes fever and a drop in blood pressure that causes a lack of blood flow to organs; the bacteria can be transferred by touch.

The name and sex of the the baby, who weighed between 500 and 1,500 grams and died last weekend has not been released.

Although four other infants have tested positive for serratia they are not sick but have been isolated and are being closely monitored.

Tests are being conducted to determine if they all have the same strain.

Dr. McGeer says until the babies are clear of the bacteria, the level 3 neonatal unit will not accept any more infants.

Mothers experiencing high risk pregnancies will be transferred other hospitals.

Serratia causes fever and a drop in blood pressure that causes a lack of blood flow to organs; the bacteria can be transferred by touch.

The 30-year-old unit suffers from overcrowding making infection control more of a problem.

A new neonatal unit is planned with building due to start this month.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post
You might also like...
'Western style' diet high in fat and sugar can negatively affect breast milk and baby's health