NATION

CWM bacterial outbreak still to be linked to baby deaths: Akbar

The Minister for Health and Medical Services, Rosy Akbar, yesterday confirmed in Parliament that seven premature babies died amidst the recent bacterial outbreak at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital’s Neonatal
22 Mar 2017 11:00
CWM bacterial outbreak still to be linked to baby deaths: Akbar
Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Minister for Health and Medical Services, Rosy Akbar, yesterday confirmed in Parliament that seven premature babies died amidst the recent bacterial outbreak at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

But she added, according to FBC: “We are still in the process to determine whether this bacterium actually caused the death of those babies.”

The issue came to light after a question by Opposition Whip, Salote Radrodro. She asked how many babies died from the bacterial outbreak.

Mrs Akbar said intensive care units like NICU were particularly susceptible to health-care associated infections.

She said similar incidents also happened in hospitals around the world.

Ms Akbar said the decision to close the unit was made after the presence of the Acinetobacter baumannii bacterium was detected in a number of new-born babies.

“The bacterium was found after the babies underwent basic screening protocols, including blood cultures and cerebral spinal fluid tests, which are normally done on babies who are admitted with infections,” Ms Akbar said.

She said seven patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) were confirmed to be carrying the bacterium.

“As a result, the hospital decided to close its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and divert all outpatient services to nearby health centres,” Ms Akbar said.

Ms Akbar said the hospital’s infection control committee acted promptly to control the infection by relocating babies to other places, screening and treating those babies who were infected.

“The CWM Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit has now reopened to new admissions and services are back to normal,” she said.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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