6 NICU newborns and 6 staff members contract antibiotic-resistant MRSA at Pennsylvania hospital

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Six NICU newborns and six workers have tested positive for MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant superbug, at UPMC Children


6 NICU newborns and 6 staff members contract antibiotic-resistant MRSA at Pennsylvania hospital

  • Twelve cases of MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant superbug, were confirmed at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania
  • Six cases were in newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit and six were in hospital employees 
  • The hospital says ‘several’ workers have come forward with symptoms, but the results of their tests are still pending
  • County and state health departments have been notified and isolation protocols are currently in place

Six newborns and six staff members have tested positive for an antibiotic-resistant superbug at a Pennsylvania hospital.

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh confirmed on Monday that all the babies infected with MRSA are patients in the neonatal intensive care unit.

In a release, the hospital said that all NICU patients have been tested and just one is ‘potentially symptomatic’.

Additionally, ‘several’ workers have come forward with symptoms, but the results of their tests are still pending.

Six NICU newborns and six workers have tested positive for MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant superbug, at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania (pictured)

‘The health and safety of our patients, staff and visitors is our highest priority,’ the hospital said in a statement.

‘We’re doing everything we can to care for them… We immediately notified the Allegheny County Health Department and Pennsylvania Department of Health and are collaborating to ensure the safest possible environment for patient care.’

UPMC said it has put isolation protocols and infection control procedures recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in place.

MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a bacterium that causes infections throughout the body. 

It most often occurs in health care settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis centers, according to the Mayo Clinic. 

The infection can be spread by coming into contact with someone who is infected, or by touching contaminated sheets, medical equipment or other surfaces. 

Skin infections begin as painful red bumps that resemble a pimple or a spider bite. The area is also often swollen, warm to the touch and filled with pus.

If the bacteria burrows into the body, it can cause life-threatening infections in the bones, joints, bloodstream, heart and lungs.   

MRSA infections are notoriously difficult to treat because they are resistant to several antibiotics, including an entire of penicillin-like medications.

UPMC noted that about five percent of hospital patients have MRSA lurking on their skin or in their noses.

While most do not get sick, this does put them at high risk of developing an infection while recovering from an illness or an operation. 

According to the CDC, there were around 120,000 MRSA-bloodstream infections in the US in 2017 that resulted in about 20,000 deaths.



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