A Los Angeles hospital has been forced to close its neonatal and pediatric intensive care units to new admissions after detecting cases of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in seven babies, including one who appears to have died as a result of the infection. P. aeruginosa infections are particularly virulent among premature, underweight newborns, who face significant odds of dying from other causes already. Officials at White Memorial Medical Center believe the infection was spread by improper cleaning of a laryngoscope blade, but are working with state and federal authorities to make sure they've ruled other causes. Since discovering the problem, hospital officials are taking critically-ill babies born at the hospital to a special isolation area for stabilization, then transferring the babies to other hospitals.
To find out more about the infections:
- read White Memorial's statement
- read this Los Angeles Times piece