Santa Maria Hospital repeats tests for multidrug-resistant bacteria today

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The Hospital de Santa Maria, in Lisbon, will repeat today the analysis of premature babies hospitalized, because of the multidrug-resistant bacteria, maintaining 11 colonized and two negative, a hospital source told Lusa.

In an update to journalists on Friday, the director of the infectiology service at the Centro Hospitalar Universitário Lisboa Norte (CHULN) said the babies were stable, stressing that most “large premature infants”, regardless of whether they are colonized with the bacteria, have to remain in hospital.

“These babies will be discharged when they have the proper development that allows them to go home. This bacterium does not interfere in any way with their discharge, as with any patient in the hospital,” said Álvaro Pereira.

The Neonatology service of Santa Maria Hospital has had 15 babies colonized with a multidrug-resistant bacterium since two weeks ago, of which 11 remain hospitalized, three have been discharged and one has died. There are still two babies who tested negative.

Regarding the baby who died, in statements to journalists on Friday, doctor Raquel Gouveia declined to provide further details, since “there is still no conclusive data”.

Raquel Gouveia stressed that, since the service became aware of the bacteria, “the usual research protocol was applied to babies who are not infected” and were separated from the rest, being isolated.

The two who tested negative are not transferred to other health facilities “because they are unstable babies and the risk of transfer is great”, he said, adding that, currently, deliveries are only being made in Santa Maria in term pregnant women and whose babies do not require hospitalization in Neonatology.

Taking closer look at bacteria.
Taking closer look at bacteria.

Experts said that babies colonized with the bacteria do not have any kind of infection.

The director of CHULN’s infectiology service stressed that “these babies are at risk because of their prematurity, like any weak and fragile patient” who is admitted to a hospital, who is at risk of serious infections.

In the case of these babies, she explained, they can get infections because of their “prematurity and fragility”.

He also explained that isolated cases of bacteria usually appear in hospitals, especially in the last-line ones, but it is not common to have a situation like this, where there is an outbreak.

According to the specialist, the bacterium was detected about 15 days ago “in a very benign situation”, when a baby appeared with eye patches, and the possibility of the bacterium being in other babies was then studied.

Álvaro Pereira also said that this bacterium does not always appear in the tests and may only be detected days later.

In this case, the analyses are repeated every 72 hours.

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