Deadly bug now found at second Bristol baby unit
A SECOND Bristol hospital's baby unit has recently recorded cases of deadly bacteria pseudomonas, the Post has learned.
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, which runs St Michael's Hospital in the city centre, said it had recorded "sporadic" cases of the bug which caused the death of a baby at Southmead's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in August.
UH Bristol did not reveal how many cases of the bacteria had been recorded and whether any had led to infection – but said there had been no recorded "clusters", where several cases are recorded at once, as there had been at Southmead.
The trust said in a statement: "We have had sporadic cases of pseudomonas on NICU over the last few months."
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A UH Bristol spokeswoman said that the trust monitored the NICU and other areas with high-risk patients, including haematology, oncology and bone marrow transplants.
The revelation came as the trust in charge of Southmead Hospital reassured mums-to-be it was completely safe for them to give birth there, despite the death of Oliver Hannon.
The Post reported yesterday that the youngster, whose parents are from Tidworth in Wiltshire, contracted the pseudomonas infection from the NICU's water supply. He died eight days after being born, 24 weeks into his mother's pregnancy.
North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT), which runs Southmead, told the Post the unit, where premature and sick newborns are cared for, has its own water supply and there have been no reports of other clinical departments being affected by the bacteria.
The trust assured expectant mothers that because the central delivery suite and postnatal wards have a separate water supply to NICU there is no risk to them or their babies.
The trust is only admitting premature and poorly babies born at Southmead into its NICU rather than taking in infants from other hospitals, as it usually does.
Oliver's parents Jenna and Andrew Hannon say they are considering taking legal action against NBT.
Mrs Hannon, 24, said last night that they had only discovered the full circumstances of his death on Tuesday, when NBT informed the media about the incident. She claimed the couple were told Oliver's death had been from a blood infection but had only learned the hospital's water supply was the source from the media.
It was also reported last night that Avon Coroner Maria Voisin had not been made aware of the circumstances of Oliver's death before Tuesday. She has now ordered that an inquest be held.
It was reported that Oliver was doing well and was due to be transferred to a Southampton hospital, closer to the family's home. They said their son's deterioration was a shock to them as he had been doing well.
But they were then told nothing more could be done for their son and he died in his mother's arms.
NBT said results of routine water-testing in mid-August showed the presence of pseudomonas and at roughly the same time investigations were carried out when Oliver became unwell.
NBT has confirmed that no other issues have been reported with the water supply at Southmead.