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Dublin: -2°C Sunday 11 April 2021

Pseudomonas discovered in fourth neo-natal ward

The infection which killed three infants has been detected in water sources at another hospital in the North.

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

THE BACTERIA WHICH killed three babies in a Belfast hospital have been discovered in a fourth neo-natal unit, health authorities confirmed today.

Colonies of the pseudomonas bacterium have been detected on water outlets in a neo-natal ward of the Ulster Hospital on the eastern outskirts of Belfast.

All babies at the unit have been screened and none tested positive, according to the North’s Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, which said they will continue to be tested on an ongoing basis. The parents of the infants have been informed.

There have been seven confirmed cases of pseudomonas infection at the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital in Belfast, where three infants died.

Another seven infants have colonisations of the bacteria on their skin, but it’s understood that this does not mean an active infection is present. The bacteria has also been detected at Craigavon hospital and the Altnagevin facility in Derry.

Health authorities said they are engaged in testing water and replacing taps in all the North’s neo-natal units. Pseudomonas, which is primarily dangerous to newborn babies, is carried in water.

No tap water is currently being used in connection with infants in the units.

More: ‘No active infection’ now in hospital unit where three babies died>

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Michael Freeman

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