Three of eight NICU premature infants infected with waterborne bacteria while in a neonatal intensive care unit have died, some babies will be transferred to nearby medical facilities, the NICU at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania said on Monday, Oct. 7.

Four other infants in Geisinger Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) had recovered from the illness, and an additional one is receiving antibiotics.

Out of “an abundance of caution,” the medical center will temporarily direct mothers who are delivering prematurely before 32 weeks gestation to other area facilities, the center reported.

Dr. Mark Shelley, director of infection prevention at Geisinger said that the center did not find any evidence of the bacteria throughout the hospital. Instead, hospital officials believe that the bacteria were limited to the intensive care unit, according to ABC News.

“It’s really too soon to say exactly where the organism is coming from,” Shelley said.

Shelley also said that the center has changed its medical center processes, done extra cleaning, put filters on taps. To eliminate the bacteria and prevent additional cases, the facility is also working closely with the state health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The hospital is committed to figuring out why the infections occurred and not letting it happen again, Shelly said.

A hotline has been set up for community members who have questions about the situation. The Hotline numbers are 570-214-9087 and 570-214-9088.

Pseudomonas bacteria is one of the most common hospital-acquired infections and causes severe symptoms in those with compromised immune systems.

Join our program