3 infants die at Pa. hospital after contact with bacteria

Geisinger Medical Center

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Three infants are dead after a waterborne infection spread through the NICU at Geisinger Medical Center Danville, Pennsylvania. But three babies have died in the past two months, perhaps as "a result of the infection complicating their already vulnerable state", Chief Medical Officer Dr. Edward Hartle says in a statement, per USA Today.

Out of the eight infants infected with pseudomonas at Geisinger, four have been "successfully treated", one is now responding to treatment, and three others have died "which may have been a result of the infection complicating their already vulnerable state due to extreme prematurity", Hartle said in a recent statement to USA Today.

As a precaution, the hospital is transferring babies born at less than 32 weeks' gestation to other hospitals and diverting other expected premature deliveries to other hospitals.

The hospital is dedicated to finding out why the infections occurred and not letting it happen again, Shelly said.

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Geisinger says out of caution, the obstetrics and neonatal teams are temporarily diverting mothers likely to deliver prematurely before 32 weeks gestation to other Pennsylvania institutions with appropriate NICU capabilities.

The infants had contracted a pseudomonas infection caused by pseudomonas bacteria. "We owe this to our community, to our families, and most importantly, to the children we care for", Dr. Maffei said.

Doctors said they first became aware of an unusual infection in early August.

Tragedy at Geisinger's neonatal intensive care unit.

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Officials said the hospital will continue to investigate the source of the bacteria and work to keep it from happening in the future.

The investigation may not reveal exactly what went wrong, Shelly said. He said that the center has done extra cleaning, put filters on taps and changed its medical center processes.

Seven of the eight babies were born at less than 26 weeks of gestation, and the eighth was born at less than 27 weeks, according to the hospital. The hospital's NICU treats more than 600 babies each year.

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