University Hospital Tübingen imposes admission freeze - several children colonized with bacteria
After several children in the premature ward at the University Hospital Tübingen were found to be colonized by bacteria of the genus Enterobacter aerogenes, the hospital imposed an admission freeze and initiated further measures to prevent the spread of the pathogens.
“Several premature babies have been colonized with a bacterium since mid-August; an infection has already healed completely, ”reports the Tübingen University Hospital. Fast and prudent action was required for the detection of the pathogen. Various measures were therefore taken in close cooperation with the health department, including the temporary admission freeze on neonatology at the University Hospital in Tübingen.
Bacteria detected several times since mid-August
Hygiene plays a major role, especially in a sensitive area such as neonatology, and for this purpose, well-established hygiene standards have been established at the University Hospital in Tübingen for years, according to the university clinic. However, the spread of bacteria can never be completely ruled out. Since mid-August, colonization with the bacterium Enterobacter aerogenes has been found in routine and close checks in several premature neonate children.
Risk of infection from Enterobacter aerogenes
Basically, all people, even the smallest children, have numerous bacteria on the skin or in the intestine without these being hazardous to health, explains the Tübingen University Hospital. This is said to be a settlement. In isolated cases, however, each bacterium could lead to an infection and thus cause an illness. This risk is greater for some bacteria than for others. For the bacterium Enterobacter aerogenes, which was found in Tübingen neonatology in several children, the university clinic says that this leads to infection more often than other bacteria in very small premature babies.
Admission freeze, quarantine and training of parents
One of the populated children in Tübingen suffered an infection with Enterobacter aerogenes, but the affected premature baby had recovered completely after a few days, according to the university hospital. Already on Thursday last week, intensive precautionary measures had been initiated in close coordination with the health authority to prevent the bacterium from spreading further. For example, “Pregnant women with premature birth aspirations” are not currently admitted to Tübingen, and neonatal care was initially restricted to one week. "The children colonized with the bacterium were spatially separated from the non-colonized children" and "the affected parents were trained in special hygiene measures for the current occasion", reports the university hospital.
In the past few weeks, four deaths have occurred in the premature baby unit in Tübingen and two of these children have been smeared with Enterobacter aerogenes, but according to the hospital, their death was not associated with an infection. The four children died of "complications from their extreme prematurity, that is, at the limit of viability or from severe malformations." (Fp)