Bacteria found in Northern Ireland hospital's water dispensers

April 26, 2013 at 4:05 PM
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ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland, April 26 (UPI) -- A potentially deadly bacterium which caused the deaths of four babies in Northern Ireland hospitals was found in a hospital's water dispensers, a report said.

The babies died after developing pseudomonas infection, one at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry and three at Belfast's Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital. The illness is caused by the multiplication of the pseudomonas bacteria in the lungs of those with weak immune systems, the Belfast Telegraph reported Friday.

The bacteria was recently discovered in the water dispensers of the year-old South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen, the newspaper said, causing the hospital to shut down its 70 water dispensers.

"This is an isolated issue pertaining only to water dispensers and not the main supply [of water] to the hospital, and will not impact on patient care or safety," Health Minister Edwin Poots said in a statement.

A spokesman for the Western Health Trust, the government operator of South West Acute Hospital said, "These water dispensers will not be put back in use until a full review is complete."

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