Norwich: Bacteria Found at Baby Unit
2 March 2012, 10:32 | Updated: 2 March 2012, 13:19
Parents are being reassured after routine tests found a form of bacteria in water at a baby unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
Water testing in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has identified higher than normal levels of a bacteria called Pseudomonas.
As a precautionary measure they are now using sterile water instead to protect babies in the unit.
Clinical testing has shown that a small number of babies are colonised with Pseudomonas bacteria, but none of the babies are showing any clinical signs of Pseudomonal infection.
The hospital clinical team has met individually with the parents of all babies on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Dr David Booth, Consultant in NICU, said: "The safety of the babies in our care and supporting their parents and families are our priorities. We would like to emphasise that none of our babies are showing any signs of Pseudomonal infection."
There may be no link between the bacteria in the water and the babies colonised with the bacteria - the hospital will have more information when additional test results on the samples are available in the next few days.
The unit is still open as normal.
Questions & Answers
What is Pseudomonas?
. Pseudomonas is a bacteria which is able to grow and survive in water and moist conditions.
. It can be found on the skin - in the absence of signs of infection this is known as colonisation.
. Colonisation in itself is not harmful.
. If Pseudomonas is found on the skin and there are no signs of infection, treatment is not required.
Can babies who are colonised with the Pseudomonas bacteria get an infection from the bacteria?
It is possible - any baby showing signs of infection will be tested for Pseudomonas for which we have effective antibiotics.
Are you testing the rest of the babies in NICU for this bacteria?
No, at this stage babies will only be tested for Pseudomonas if they are showing signs of infection.
What are you doing about the water supply?
. Tap water is not being used for washing babies or any equipment that has contact with babies, sterile water is being used instead.
. Tap water in the unit is safe for hand washing provided alcohol gel is used afterwards.
. Modifications are being made to the water system and we will continue to test the water until we are satisfied with the water supply.