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Infection prevention failure caused baby deaths

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

The Health Watchdog has found that an E. coli outbreak at Swansea’s Singleton Hospital, which killed two babies, was most likely down to an infection control failure. The outbreak happened in November 2011, involving a mother, her two twins and another baby. All three babies and the twins’ mother were found to have the same EBSL strain of E. coli.  The neo-natal unit was closed for a month following the outbreak.

All three babies were born premature on the 31st of October through a caesarean section operation and all required neo-natal intensive care at birth.  Shortly after giving birth, the mother of the twins began to show signs of the E. coli infection, after which it was discovered that one of the twins also had the infection and subsequently died on the 8th of November. The other baby also acquired E. coli and was cared for in an incubator cot before dying on the 4th of November.  The second twin survived the outbreak and returned home from hospital on the 17th of November.

£3.2million refurbishment

Tests were carried out by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABM), which found that one of the babies that died contracted the infection at the unit, but the mother and other babies caught it elsewhere.  As a result of the ABM’s findings, Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW) has been given 13 recommendations for improvements. ABM said that a £3.2million refurbishment of the neonatal unit would greatly reduce the risk of cross infection amongst patients.

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