Babies at Addenbrooke's and Luton & Dunstable hospitals affected by blood poisoning outbreak

Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.
Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. Photo: ITV News Anglia

Public Health England has announced that a baby has died and 14 others have been infected in an outbreak of blood poisoning in hospitals, two of them in our region.

In a statement, Public Health England says all the cases are in neonatal intensive care units in six hospitals in London and the south east - including Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge and the Luton and Dunstable Hospital in Bedfordshire.

Many of the babies who have been affected are premature and very vulnerable and sadly one of the 15 has already died at the St Thomas' Hospital in London.

Two babies were also affected at The Luton and Dunstable Hospital.
Two babies were also affected at The Luton and Dunstable Hospital. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The investigation into what has caused the blood poisoning is still being carried out, but the signs are that it is linked to a particular form of intravenous liquid called parenteral nutrition which is given to babies.

It contains a variety of nutrients that are delivered directly into the babies' bloodstream - it seems that it may have been contaminated with a common bacteria.

It's believed that all the affected batches have been identified and it's unlikely other units in hospitals around the country have been affected, though they have been made aware and given advice on how to identify potential cases of infection and how to dispose of affected stock.

Two babies in Addenbrooke's and two in the Luton and Dunstable have been affected by the outbreak. All the 14 surviving babies are being treated with antibiotics and are said to be responding well.

Read more: Addenbrooke's respond with statement