24 Jan 2012
A neonatal room housing extremely premature and small babies is to be emptied and deep-cleaned after three died from an infection.
The infants at the Royal Maternity Hospital in Belfast died from a bacteria called pseudomonas, which can cause infections in the chest, blood and urinary tract.
Pseudomonas is not itself infectious but because it exists in water or moisture patients can carry it on their skin. It can be treated with the right antibiotic but the third baby died despite receiving the treatment.
The neonatal room, in which 13 babies are cared for, is being emptied and deep-cleaned. Medical staff say there are just three babies remaining in the room.
Other vulnerable babies have been swabbed for signs of the bacteria, and a helpline has been established for worried relatives.
Consultant Clifford Mayes said: “Where it is possible, we will transfer a mother and baby out before delivery to other hospitals.”
Copyright Press Association 2012