One baby dies many more infected from poisonous drip

A baby has died from blood poisoning after being put on a drip containing a contaminated substance and 14 other babies are being treated with antibiotics after falling ill at NHS hospitals.

The affected babies were in neonatal intensive care units at three London-based NHS organisations – Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and the Whittington Hospital – as well as Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Luton and Dunstable University Hospital.

The baby who died was being treated at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.

A spokeswoman for Guy’s and St Thomas’ said: “The infection has affected three babies. Sadly one of these babies has died. The other two are responding well to antibiotics.

“All babies on the unit are being screened for the bacterium as a precaution and enhanced infection control measures have been put in place to prevent any further cases. These enhanced measures will remain in place until the Trust is satisfied that no other babies are at risk.”

Public Health England (PHE) said the cases have been “strongly linked” to a number of batches of intravenous liquid called parenteral nutrition, which was given to the babies.

The liquid, manufactured by ITH Pharma Limited, is supposed to deliver a variety of nutrients intravenously when babies are unable to eat on their own.

The manufacturer has issued a recall and the MHRA has issued an alert to draw attention to the product recall.

The product has a short shelf life and although it is unlikely that any stock from the day of contamination incident remains (it expired on 2 June), the MHRA has issued a class 1 drug alert.