Deep clean at Altnagelvin neonatal unit

A deep clean is taking place at the neo natal unit.
A deep clean is taking place at the neo natal unit.

A deep clean is taking place in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Altnagelvin Hospital following the discovery of the Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus Aureus (MSSA) bloodstream infection.

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) has confirmed it has identified an increased incidence of the infection.

Dr. Anne Kilgallen, Medical Director with the Western Trust said: “Since May 2013 three babies have been diagnosed with MSSA bloodstream infection. MSSA bloodstream infection occurs from time to time, however it is unusual to have a cluster of three infections. Early indications are that the same type of organism is involved in each case.

She continued: “In light of this the Trust would like to assure the public that robust infection prevention and control measures are in place. This includes supplementary baby and environmental screening. A thorough deep clean and decontamination process called ‘Vapourised Hydrogen Peroxide’ (VHP) is also taking place. The Unit continues to work very closely with the Trust’s Infection Prevention and Control Team and remains open to admissions, though it will temporarily not receive any transfers from other Trust areas.

“MSSA naturally occurs on the skin of babies and adults and is commonly found there or in the nose. It is carried by most people without ill effects. It does, however, pose a potential risk to a small number.

“We will continue to work closely with the Public Health Agency (PHA) as we monitor the situation over the coming days.”