LA hospital unit re-opens after infant infections

Officials at Los Angeles-based White Memorial Medical Center plan to reopen its neonatal unit, having concluded an investigation into the source of a recent round of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections which may have contributed to the deaths of two infants. White had closed its neonatal intensive care unit on December 4th after five babies got sick; it then closed its pediatric intensive care unit, as well, when two more cases were discovered there. Working with officials at the L.A. County Department of Public Health, as well as other medical experts, executives at White Memorial concluded that the neonatal outbreak was spread by an improperly sterilized laryngoscope. Their investigation concluded that while the facility's laryngoscopes had previously been disinfected by their sterilization department, the unit's staff had been cleaning the instruments since March, something which appears to have contributed to the problem. The hospital will go back to having such equipment cleaned through the central sterilization department.

To get more information on the outbreak:
- read this Associated Press item