An Incident Management Team (IMT) has been set up to investigate three cases of Staphylococcus aureus blood stream infection in extremely premature babies in the neonatal unit at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde closely monitors any blood stream infections in this vulnerable group of patients and as a consequence of this monitoring an Incident Management Team was triggered on January 24.
Sadly, two of the babies were extremely poorly due to their very early birth and have passed away. Infection was one of a number of contributing causes in both deaths.
The third premature baby who tested positive for Staphylococcus aureus required treatment for the bacterium and is in a stable condition.
Dr Barbara Weinhardt, infection control doctor, said: “Our thoughts are with the families affected.
“Results have today confirmed that the three cases of Staphylococcus aureus are linked and our investigations continue into how they are linked.
“Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that is found on the skin and in the nasal passage of around one in four people and only causes infection when it enters the body.
“In cases where people are vulnerable to infection, it can cause serious infection.
“We have taken a number of control measures in the unit, including a deep clean, isolation and barrier nursing, safety briefs to all staff and infection control advice to all visitors.”
Dr Alan Mathers, Chief of Medicine, Women’s and Children’s Service, added: “The national guidance sets out that an investigation should be triggered when two or more cases of the same type of bacteria are found.
“In this case, this was triggered on 24th January and an Incident Management Team meeting (IMT) was convened.
“The IMT began their investigations into possible linkages between the three cases and sent samples for testing.
“Whilst these results were awaited, we spoke to the families affected, together with the parents on the unit and staff, to let them know of our investigations.
“The results that have come back today have confirmed links between the three cases.
“Our infection control team continues to work closely with clinical colleagues and domestic staff to manage the situation and take all necessary steps to maintain patient safety.”
Dr Lisa Ritchie, Nurse Consultant Infection Control, Health Protection Scotland, said: “Health Protection Scotland is supporting NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to ensure that all precautionary and control measures are taken in line with national guidance.”