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Baby feed contamination - outbreak

Paul McNeil
02/07/2014

The BBC has reported that a third baby has died from blood poisoning, due to suspected contaminated hospital feed, with another 23 babies contracting and being treated for Bacillus cereus having been given the feed. Public Health England have stated that the Bacillus Cereus bacterium were linked to an intravenous fluid supplied by ITH Pharma which caused the poisoning. It is understood that action has been taken at ITH Pharma to avoid any further outbreak of this nature. So far the outbreak has occurred at 9 hospitals across England with another two possible cases still being investigated. We are now acting for the Al Kharboush family, whose baby Yousef tragically passed away at St Thomas's Hospital at the start of June as a result of this outbreak.

Bacillus cereus is a bacterium which in its most common form causes nausea and vomiting one to six hours after eating contaminated food. It can also cause fever and diarrhoea, although this is less common and typically starts six to twenty-four hours after eating and lasts for up to two days.

Paul McNeil, head of Personal Injury and Medical Negligence at Fieldfisher says "It is utterly devastating and depressing to hear of these deaths, which should have been prevented. More needs to be done to ensure that these tragic events never happen again, and it is important that strict measures are taken both by hospitals and their suppliers to prevent this sort of outbreak occurring again in the future."

Edwina Rawson, partner at Fieldfisher, helped Alfred Nel recover compensation after he almost died during an outbreak of pseudomonas at Guy's Hospital in London. The bacteria had been present on an unclean microscope which was used to remove a stent that had been used to treat kidney stones. He was treated for seven weeks in hospital and after he left was unable to return to his job as a plumber and has persistent pain. He won his case against Guy's Hospital which was settled for more than half a million pounds.

Arti Shah, solicitor at Fieldfisher, recently helped the family of Robert Goddard (Bobby) who tragically passed away 2 days after his birth. Bobby was born by emergency Caesarean section at the Lincoln County Hospital following an abnormal trace at 40 weeks + 6 days. His mother had been experiencing reduced fetal movements, however although he was admitted to the hospital at 10.20am to be monitored by CTG trace, with the decision to deliver him by C-section not taken until 1.20pm, he was not delivered until 2.11pm, thus suffering a lack of oxygen to the brain and requiring respiratory support. He passed away 2 days later. At the inquiry which followed, the Trust accepted that there had been a "very serious failure" in the ante-natal midwifery care.

If you have been affected by this story please get in touch with us.

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