Bacteria levels fall in water supply on neonatal unit

Remedial work to the water supply in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has taken place and preliminary testing indicates that there are no longer high levels of pseudomonas in the water. Further testing of all the supply points will continue until the testing process has restored our confidence in the water quality. Until then, we are taking the sensible precaution of continuing to use sterile water for baby care.

In order to assist in our understanding of the colonisation, in addition to testing the water, we are screening all babies currently on the neonatal unit, to check whether there are any other babies who are colonised with this bacteria.

The team in NICU has spoken individually with parents who have babies in the unit to update them.

Routine water testing in NICU recently identified higher than normal levels of a bacteria called pseudomonas.

At the same time, a number of babies were identified as carrying the same bacteria (colonisation). None of the babies are showing any clinical signs of pseudomonal infection. As a precautionary measure we have been using sterile water instead of tap water, to protect babies in the unit.

Notes to editors:

1. The following information regarding screening was also provided to parents:

What is the screening test?

Three simple swab samples will be taken. These are harmless, painless tests.

What if my baby is colonised?

If your baby is colonised, we do not need to make any changes to their current treatment – harmless carriage of this bacteria is sometimes found on babies. As your baby grows and matures, the usual bacteria present on their skin, nose, mouth and in their bowels will change and grow and, by a natural process the pseudomonas will decline and disappear.

If your baby becomes unwell with an infection, the combination of antibiotics that we use on NICU is effective against pseudomonas.

NICU is open as normal

Wednesday 14th of March 2012 10:00:15 AM