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Three infants died in the US after being fed infected breast milk

Five-day-old Abel Cepeda died in Geisinger Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit in the US. Cepeda’s parents didn’t know it at the time, but their son was the eighth baby since the summer to get sick after exposure to the same bacteria in Geisinger Medical Center’s NICU. Two had died by the time Cepeda’s mother was admitted on 18 September, according to the family’s lawsuit. Geisinger staff have admitted noticing “unusual” illness weeks before the hospital went public with its problem.

On Friday, Geisinger announced that its own equipment contaminated the donor breast milk that exposed premature infants to a bacteria called pseudomonas. The medical center in Danville, Pa., says it changed its equipment on 30 September, switching to single-use materials — the same day Cepeda died while his parents remained in the dark about the ongoing bacteria problem, the family’s lawsuit alleges.

Matt Casey, a Philadelphia-based lawyer representing Cepeda’s parents, says findings that Geisinger’s breast milk measurement materials led to the infections have reinforced his belief that Geisinger — which runs sites around Pennsylvania — was negligent both in cleaning its equipment and in taking steps to save lives once red flags surfaced.

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Source: The Washington Post, 9 November 2019


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