Posted by Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and partner.
As reported by NBC News, Maryland’s Prince George’s County Hospital is clearing all babies from its NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) after three babies tested positive for Pseudomas infections, a bacteria found in soil, water and plants. Nine infants were moved to other hospitals after the discovery. According to the statement released by the hospital, “While the investigation into the positive bacterium cultures is ongoing by qualified experts, our top immediate priority is the safe and efficient transfer of patients and providing support to our NICU families and staff.” Two recent baby deaths have not been linked to the infection.
In healthy people, Pseudomas infections are generally mild. However, among those already hospitalized for another condition, or those with a weak immune system, Pseudomas infections are considered opportunistic infections that cause other diseases when a person’s immune system is already impaired.
Conditions that may increase the risk of infection include:
- HIV or AIDS
- Cystic fibrosis
- Burn wounds
- Receiving chemotherapy for cancer
- Undergoing an invasive procedure, like a surgery
- Presence of a foreign body, like a mechanical ventilator or catheter
Infections can be severe in people whose immune systems are already compromised.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), about 400 deaths each year are attributed to drug-resistant Pseudomas infections. Local officials are monitoring the situation. According to a Prince George’s County executive statement, “I am confident that the healthcare professionals who are handling this matter, which I understand is fairly common in hospitals, will ensure that the health and welfare of the hospital’s patients is not compromised.”
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About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. He has successfully litigated many cases against medical facilities where patients have been injured by carelessness. Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers (2016 edition) and has been repeatedly named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine – national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.