Infection linked to death of babies in hospital was ‘extremely rare strain’
Three babies affected by an infection at a hospital neonatal unit had an “extremely rare strain” of the bacteria, health chiefs have said.
Two premature infants died and a third was affected by staphylococcus aureus at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow last month.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said in a statement the two babies who died were “extremely poorly” due to their early births, with infection being “one of a number of contributing causes in both deaths”.
The health board has now confirmed the infection present was an extremely rare strain and the first time it has been identified in Scotland.
It has only previously been identified in two other countries around the world, and is resistant to the skin cleaning agent used at hospitals across the UK.
Staphylococcus aureus is found on the skin and in the nasal passage of around one in four people and only causes infection when it enters the blood stream.
NHSGGC also confirmed there have been no further cases reported.
A statement said: “The staphylococcus aureus strain present on the skin of four babies – and previously infecting three babies – is an extremely rare strain which is highly resistant to the two antibiotics normally prescribed for staphylococcus aureus.
“It is also resistant to the skin cleaning agent routinely used in hospitals across the UK.
“It has been confirmed that this is the first time this strain of bacteria has been identified in Scotland; previously these cases have only been identified in two other countries worldwide.
“We have continued to screen babies in our three neonatal units and there have been no further cases of infection.
“We have also put in place a number of further infection control measures including staff screening, the prescribing of different antibiotics and the introduction of a new skin cleaning agent.”