A special investigative team from Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) is suspecting bacterial infection to be the cause of death of four newborns who died in succession in less than 90 minutes at a local hospital Saturday.
The KCDC’s epidemiologic survey that investigates the puzzling deaths of four newborns follows the ongoing probes by the Yangcheon police and the National Forensic Service.
All four infants went into cardiac arrest at Ewha Womans University Medical Center’s (EUMC) neonatal intensive care unit on Saturday and died between 9:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., according to the hospital.
|Source: Ewha Womans University Medical Center|
Although KCDC said it would reach a conclusive report after Wednesday, it suspects gram-negative bacteria to be a possible cause based on the latest findings from blood culture tests, reports said.
Experts say gram-negative bacteria, which can cause infections such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections, and meningitis, can be fatal to infants. Puerto Rico’s health authorities have dealt with a highly resistant gram-negative bacteria Klebsiella outbreak in a neonatal intensive-care unit in the country, according to the U.S. CDC.
Meanwhile, the KCDC said it would continue reviewing the medical records of all 16 infants while monitoring the 12 others who were in the intensive care unit. Of the remaining 12 babies, eight have been moved to another hospital, and four have been released from Ewha, the hospital said.
KCDC said one out of the four discharged infants is now in another hospital due to cold symptoms. One out of the eight babies transferred to other hospitals is under observation for a noticeable decline in energy, it added.
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