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Hospital negligence might have put NICU babies' lives in jeopardy

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacterium that can be found in hospitals here in Texas and elsewhere in the country. In healthy people, an infection from the bacteria is often not serious. However, in someone who has a weakened immune system, it can be life threatening. Families who lose loved ones to this infection might discover that hospital negligence was the cause.

A hospital in another state recently had to close its neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) because three of the nine infants being cared for in the unit tested positive for this potentially deadly bacteria. The babies were transferred to other area hospitals. Those that received positive results for the bacteria will be closely monitored, but they were reportedly not exhibiting any symptoms of an active infection at last report.

The testing was done after two of the Maryland hospital's patients -- both infants -- died from an infection from the bacteria. The official statement from the hospital is that health officials are working to determine the source of the bacteria. However, another source reported that the bacterium was present in a water pipe that provides water to the NICU.

While at least three families are more than likely waiting on pins and needles to find out whether their babies will contract a potentially deadly infection, two other families are mourning the loss of their infants. Hospitals owe a duty of care to their patients to ensure that the environment is as free from bacteria and viruses that could put the lives of patients, medical personnel and others in jeopardy. At some point, those two families might exercise their rights to file hospital negligence claims against the hospital. Texas families who might unfortunately find themselves in a similar situation also have the same right.

Source: wpxi.com, "Hospital transfers babies from NICU after deadly bacteria found, reports say", Aug. 9, 2016

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