Bacteria in IVs may have caused 9 hospital deaths

Nineteen Alabama hospital patients were sickened and nine have died from a bacteria infection. Authorities fear the bacteria was introduced into their blood stream from a tainted IV solution. State health officials believe that intravenous (IV) feedings may have been contaminated with bacteria and that was transmitted to patients.

All of the ill patients and those that died were infected with the serratia marcescens bacteremia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention food the bacteria in bags that provided intravenous feeding to patients though the CDC has not yet confirmed this bacteremia was the cause of the deaths.

Serratia marcescens is often associated with catheters, urinary tract infections and wound infections and it is responsible for 1.4% of nosocomial bactermia cases in the United States. The bacteria is found commonly in the environment especially in moist conditions such as bathrooms.

The IV solution was recalled by the manufacturer after the outbreak was discovered on March 16.

Hospital acquired infections affect 1.4 million people worldwide every year. It is estimated that 1 in 10 hospital patients are harmed while receiving care in a hospital. Enhanced cleaning of ICUs and vigilance in the use of gloves and hand washing can reduce the risk of infections like MSRA.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured due to medical malpractice including hospital malpractice.

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Source: Contaminated IV solution suspected in 9 patient deaths in Alabama
By Tom Watkins, CNN
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