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MRSA found on skin of babies at Norfolk hospitals

PUBLISHED: 17:36 27 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:04 28 July 2018

Genreal Views of The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Genreal Views of The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

A baby who was transferred to a Norfolk neonatal intensive care unit was found to be carrying MRSA.

James Paget Hospital
Generic hospital
Accident and emergency
Ambulance
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2016James Paget Hospital Generic hospital Accident and emergency Ambulance Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2016

The baby, who was born at the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) in Gorleston, was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

But on arrival, staff discovered the infant had MRSA.

Frances Bolger, acting chief nurse at the NNUH, told the hospital’s board of directors today (Friday): “We had an incident on NICU where a baby was brought over from James Paget Hospital, the baby had MRSA which was detected on the ward. Then we found another baby with MRSA.”

MRSA lives harmlessly on the skin of around one in 30 people but it can be a killer if it gets into a patient’s bloodstream.

Frances Bolger, acting chief nurse at NNUH. Photo: NNUHFrances Bolger, acting chief nurse at NNUH. Photo: NNUH

It is one of the most feared superbugs as it is resistant to several widely-used antibiotics.

Documents released ahead of the JPUH board of directors meeting, which was also today, revealed there had been an outbreak at the hospital of colonised MRSA.

People who are colonised carry the MRSA germ, but are not ill.

The papers showed there had been five cases on the JPUH neonatal unit since March.

Julia Hunt, director of nursing at the James Paget Hospital
Byline: Sonya DuncanJulia Hunt, director of nursing at the James Paget Hospital Byline: Sonya Duncan

Documents said: “This was declared an outbreak due to the microbiology typing of the MRSA isolates being the same. All five babies are doing well and have not developed MRSA infection and have since been discharged home.”

At the NNUH Ms Bolger said “intensive cleaning of the area” had been carried out.

While at JPUH all neonatal unit staff were screened, the neonatal unit and central delivery suite had a type of cleaning to decontaminate potentially infected areas, and all disposable items were thrown away.

Julia Hunt, director of nursing and lead for infection prevention and control at JPUH, said: “All newborn babies at the James Paget are routinely screened to see if they carry MRSA. This is per national guidelines. Recently a small number of babies were identified as carrying MRSA on their skin. None of these babies had an infection with MRSA. In each case we have spoken with the parents to advise and inform them of the situation.

“We have notified, and are working with, partner agencies to investigate potential causes and are taking appropriate action to prevent further cases.”

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