E.coli infection baby deaths probed

24 Nov 2011

Health chiefs in South Wales are investigating after two babies died of an E.coli infection.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg (ABM) University Health Board, which runs Singleton Hospital in Swansea, is investigating both cases of ESBL E.coli cross-infection in the hospital's maternity/neonatal unit. The probe will be supported by Public Health Wales.

The investigation was launched as details of the tragic deaths were revealed. One of the babies was "very premature" and died in hospital, while the second case involved a baby who died in the community but whose mother is suspected of contracting the infection at the hospital.

The hospital has taken action to restrict the use of the unit concerned to full-term babies as the investigation continues.

It also stressed that ESBL E.coli is not the same as E.coli O157 which causes food poisoning, adding that the type of E.coli in these cases does not cause harm in most people, but can cause serious infections in vulnerable individuals.

Copyright Press Association 2011

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