The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, MD has been shut down following the discovery of a dangerous, and potentially deadly, form of bacteria. Infants at the NICU are currently being transferred to other hospitals in an effort to prevent the spread of bacterial infections. At this time, nine infant patients have been transferred out of the Prince George’s Hospital Center NICU.
Infants in the NICU may have been exposed to a dangerous bacterium called Pseudomonas. The presence of the Pseudomonas bacteria was discovered following two recent deaths of infants being held in the NICU.
Officials at the hospital made it clear that these two infant deaths have not officially been linked to the bacterial outbreak. However, thus far three infants in neonatal intensive care at the hospital have tested positive for Pseudomonas.
Pseudomonas is a dangerous form of bacteria that is often found in hospitals. Pseudomonas can live on the hands of hospital workers, as well as on tainted medical equipment. Proper sanitization measures can help prevent the spread of Pseudomonas and other dangerous bacteria.
Unfortunately, exposure to Pseudomonas and other forms of dangerous bacteria in hospitals is more common than you might believe. According the Centers for Disease Control, these types of bacterial infections impact thousands of hospital patients every year:
- An estimated 51,000 healthcare-associated Pseudomonas infections occur in the United States each year.
- Pseudomonas infections cause an estimated 400 fatalities every year.
- More than 13% of Pseudomonas infections are estimated to be multi-drug resistant, meaning that traditional antibiotic treatments may be unable to help affected patients.
Infants in Neonatal Intensive Care are at an extremely high risk of suffering from infections and other diseases due to their weakened immune systems. Exposure to Pseudomonas could be deadly for these children. An investigation is ongoing to determine how the bacteria was introduced to the NCIU as well as how long it may have been present.
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