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Hospital closes unit after death


15 February, 2008  

Salford Royal Hospital has closed its neonatal unit to new admissions after a baby died, managers have announced.

The move is a precautionary measure after the child died after developing an infection from the common airborne fungus aspergillus.

The cause of death has not yet been confirmed, but admissions were halted after a second baby developed signs of the same condition last week.

There are around 17 babies on the special care unit and they are still being cared for by specialist staff. The maternity unit is still open.

Dr Michael Robinson, senior consultant neonatologist, said: “Preterm babies are more susceptible to developing infections because of their immaturity and we continue to do all that we can to reduce these.

“When a second infection occurred within two months of the first, we took further advice and are embarking upon a range of investigations and precautionary measures to ascertain whether there are any common contributory factors.

“As a temporary measure, we have closed the unit to admissions of preterm babies and are currently monitoring the situation closely.”

Aspergillus is usually harmless but can affect asthma sufferers and potentially cause fatal infections in leukaemia and bone-marrow transplant patients.

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