Deadly bacteria on hospital tap

30 Jan 2012

A bacterium found on water taps that was responsible for four baby deaths in Northern Ireland has been found in another of the country's hospitals.

Three babies at Belfast's Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital and one infant in Londonderry died after contracting the Pseudomonas bacteria last month. The bug has now been discovered in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Ulster Hospital outside Belfast, but a statement has confirmed that no babies have tested positive for Pseudomonas at the hospital.

The bacteria, found in water outlets such as taps, led to a refit of both baby units at the two Northern Irish hospitals, and staff at Ulster Hospital have been told to avoid using tap water with the babies while tests are carried out and replacements refitted.

While no baby has tested positive for Pseudomonas at Ulster Hospital a statement said that babies will continue to be screened on an ongoing basis.

A health service update on the outbreak said: "According to the latest figures, there are no new cases of Pseudomonas infection at the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital's neonatal unit."

Copyright Press Association 2012

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