Wirral maternity unit reassures parents over baby feed scare

WIRRAL women's and children's hospital has reassured expectant mothers that it does not use a brand of liquid food supplement linked to the death of a newborn baby in London

WIRRAL women's and children's hospital has reassured expectant mothers that it does not use a brand of liquid food supplement linked to the death of a newborn baby in London

First published in News
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Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

WIRRAL women's and children's hospital has reassured expectant mothers that it does not use a brand of liquid food supplement linked to the death of a newborn baby in London.

The reassurance came after Public Health England ordered an urgent recall of ITH Parma Feed after a contaminated batch was suspected of causing septicaemia that killed a baby at London's Guy's and St Thomas' hospital.

It has been revealed that the batch had been sent to 22 hospital maternity units – but Wirral is not among them.

A spokesman for the Arrowe Park Hospital unit said: “The Trust can confirm that our neonatal unit does not use ITH Pharma feed.”

Another 14 premature babies in six separate hospitals in London and the south-east all suffered food poisoning after receiving drips containing the liquid.

The emergency developed rapidly over the weekend with one baby after another falling ill, triggering a frantic search to identify the source of the bacteria causing the life-threatening septicaemia.

But the contaminated batch of liquid feed wasn’t identified as the problem until Wednesday morning.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday, public health chief Paul Cosford said the feed was the "most likely cause" of the infection, adding that an urgent investigation was under way into what went wrong.

"The feed was infected with a bacterium known as Bacillus cereus.

Mr Cosford said: "We know there are 22 hospitals across the country which received this product.

“We also know that this product is no longer being used.

"It is a very short-life product and the regulator has put out an urgent recall to make sure that there isn't any that is being used.”

"This is an extremely unusual instance. A detailed investigation is being carried out by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority.

In a statement the feed’s manufacturer said: "ITH Pharma is very saddened to hear about the death of a baby in hospital, and that 14 others are ill with septicaemia.

"ITH Pharma is a specialist manufacturer of parenteral nutrition, which is given to babies in neonatal intensive care units.

“The products in question, which are no longer in circulation, are made to order for individual patients on a daily basis, in response to bespoke orders from hospitals.”

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