LONDON (Reuter) - A fungus that lives on wooden spatulas used by doctors as tongue depressors may endanger newborn babies in special hospital units, British doctors said Friday.
They described an outbreak of fungal infection at Birmingham Women's Hospital that killed three babies and forced the amputation of a fourth baby's arm, and said the source was traced to spatulas being used in that case to hold tubes to a baby's arm.
Writing in the Lancet medical journal, Dr Simon Mitchell and colleagues said they had never heard of this happening before. Other doctors have warned of fungal outbreaks in hospitals and say it is a growing problem as microbes such as bacteria and fungi evolve to become resistant to drugs.
Babies could be at particular risk, Mitchell said. ``The combination of warm, humid conditions in neonatal incubators... may favor cutaneous (skin) fungal infection and put small, sick babies at risk of infection,'' they wrote.
These web pages were originally composed by Ronnie
Falcao, LM MS, in Sept., 1997.
They have been updated as new information has become available.
Permission to link to these pages is hereby granted.
Links about Hospital-Acquired Infections, Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria,
and Untreatable Infections
[ Q&A | References | Recent News | Newborn Infections ]
Homebirth Safety And Benefits
Contact Ronnie Falcao, LM MS