Source Of Bacterial Infection That Caused Infant Deaths At GMC NICU Still Not Known

Geisinger Medical Center has been in the national spotlight over the last couple of days since announcing an increase in cases of a bacterial infection that is believed to have caused the deaths of three premature babies in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The infants contracted a pseudomonas infection which is waterborne bacteria that is harmless to most people, but can be dangerous for very premature babies with underdeveloped immune systems. Dr. Rosemary Leeming, GMC’s Chief Medical Officer, tells our news partner Newswatch 16 that an infant in the NICU was sick with pseudomonas in early July, and in early August another infant died from the infection. A few more weeks went by and more babies got sick. Two more infants died in September. Geisinger says there have no new infections since then. Dr. Leeming says the State Department of Health was notified after the first death. In all 8 infants have been sickened with pseudomonas at GMC. Geisinger officials are still trying to figure out the source of the bacteria. For the time being, Geisinger is diverting some patients to other hospitals. This includes women likely to deliver at less than 32 weeks and babies born at less than 32 weeks.