Ste-Justine hospital in Montreal announced that four premature babies died from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The bacteria has been found in the plumbing pipes on the neo-natal unit of the hospital.
Several dozen other premature infants are suffering from the bacteria as well. The infants died between 2004 and 2005.
The bacteria causes pneumonia and septicemia. The premature infants are at added risk because their immune systems haven’t developed fully.
The unit was closed in December 2005 after the bacteria was found in the plumbing system, but by then the four lives had already been claimed. After the first death in June of 2004 doctors had requested for the unit to be closed. Hospital officials along with the Montreal’s Public Health Department though choose to let the unit remain open.
“Every time we thought that the next measure was enough, there were weeks or months without any cases. So we sincerely thought that the problem was over,” Amyot explained to CTV Montreal.
Once the bacteria was located sterilized water instead of tap was used with the infants. From the time of that measure there were no other deaths.
After renovations have been completed the unit will reopen next year. The hospital is the only one in the area that caters exculsivly to children, adolescents and mothers.