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The Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital, where the deaths took place
The Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital, where the deaths took place
Image: Paul Faith/PA Wire/Press Association Images

'No active infection' now in hospital unit where three babies died

All of the babies in the Belfast unit have now been screened – though five are still carrying the bacterial infection.
Jan 23rd 2012, 6:13 PM 1,322 3

THERE ARE NO new infections among the newborn babies housed in a hospital neo-natal unit where three infants died from a bacterial outbreak, according to hospital authorities.

All of the babies in the unit have now been screened for the pseudomonas bacteria, which killed three over a period of two weeks at Belfast’s Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital.

There are been six cases of infection in total. Five babies have been identified as having the pseudomonas bacteria on their skin, but authorities said this did not represent an “active infection”.

The bacteria, which grows in moist conditions and is dangerous primarily to newborn babies, can be carried on the skin without causing illness.

The hospital unit underwent a “deep clean” at the weekend, with staff bio-decontaminating the area. It remains closed off while experts try to identify how the infection first arose.

Health authorities in the North said the hospital was still working as normal, but some expectant mothers might be transferred to another facility.

More: Deep clean under way at Belfast neo-natal ward>

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Michael Freeman

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