Today’s news headlines (Thursday, 5 June 2014) report the death of a baby who has died at St Thomas’ Hospital in London from septicaemia suspected to be linked to a contaminated drip feed. The baby died after developing septicaemia from the Bacillus cereus bacterium. It has also been reported that 14 other infants across six hospitals are currently being treated for septicaemia in related incidents. Many of the babies who have been affected were born pre-term and are being cared for in neonatal units. They cannot be fed by month and so feed is dripped into their bloodstream.
The hospitals involved are Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust, London, Guy's and St Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust, London, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Addenbrooke's, Cambridge University Hospitals, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital and The Whittington Hospital, London. Those other hospitals have commented that all 14 babies affected are responding well to antibiotics.
ITH Pharma, which manufactures the feed, commented: "ITH Pharma is very saddened to hear about the death of a baby in hospital, and that 14 others are ill with septicaemia. ITH Pharma is a specialist manufacturer of parenteral nutrition, which is given to babies in neonatal intensive care units. The products in question, which are no longer in circulation, are made to order for individual patients on a daily basis, in response to bespoke orders from hospitals. We are co-operating fully with the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) in the investigation, and are doing everything we can to help them establish the facts in this case as quickly as possible."
Public Health England has launched an investigation into the incident alongside the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
Emily Palmer, clinical negligence associate at Penningtons Manches commented: “These reports are deeply distressing and our thoughts are with the families of the children involved. We hope that the investigations get to the bottom of how this occurred as swiftly as possible and that all possible steps are taken to ensure this does not happen again.”