Pseudomonas detected in neo natal unit water supply

Altnagelvin Hospital
Altnagelvin Hospital

The bug which has claimed the lives of four babies in the north has been detected in water samples taken from Altnagelvin Hospital’s neo natal unit.

A spokesman for the Public Health Agency (PHA) says water sample results for the Western Trust show that Pseudomonas has been detected in a small number of water outlets in the neonatal unit.

“As in all neonatal units, including Altnagelvin, steps had already been taken to ensure that babies are not coming into contact with the water supply. Only sterile water is being used for direct care of babies and a range of very strict infection control measures are also in place.

“No babies in Altnagelvin are currently infected with Pseudomonas. As previously reported, two babies are colonised ie they have Pseudomonas on their skin but are not infected,” the spokesman says.

He says the Western Trust has informed parents of babies currently in the unit of the water results.

“As in all neonatal units, and as a precautionary measure, taps in all neonatal units are being replaced and other remedial action will be taken as required. It is important to re-emphasise though, that babies are not coming into contact with the water supply,” the spokesman says.

The PHA is urging the public to continue to to follow good hygiene practice when visiting hospitals.

In December Gavin Burke and Caoimhe Campbell’s 10-day-old son Caolan died in the Altnagelvin’s neo-natal unit from the bacteria