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Saturday 26th May 2018

MRSA closes baby unit

16th October 2007

The Royal Blackburn hospital in Lancashire has shut its neonatal unit following the results of a test for MRSA, which confirmed six babies were infected.


The East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said the babies were receiving treatment for a strain of the bug known as Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) and that none were "seriously ill".

Details of the closure have only now been given to the public. The neonatal unit was closed in the middle of September.

Of the six babies who had confirmed cases of PVL, five were found to have bacteria externally and one had MRSA in its bloodstream.

The trust confirmed that they were doing "everything" they could in order to combat the infection and "eradicate" it from the unit.

Rineke Schram, medical director at the trust, said: "The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will be reopened once we are sure that all the babies are returning a negative result when they are screened".

Mrs Scram said the unit had "done an excellent job in keeping the incident contained" and the trust was "confident" that the unit could be reopened in the near future.

She acknowledged that people who had stayed or visited the ward might be worried and said they should get in touch with the hospital to voice their concerns.

She said the trust had not made the decision public because they needed to be sure of which type of MRSA they were dealing with and "did not want to raise alarm or concern within the community".

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