New superbug deaths in Rotterdam hospital

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Four patients in the Maasstad Hospital In Rotterdam died after contracting the multiple resistant bacteria the hospital has been battling since September.

The bacteria is an oxa-48 producing Klebsiella pneumoniae. Oxa-48 is the name of the enzyme which makes the bacteria resistant against practically all antibiotics.

So far, 70 patients have been infected, 25 of whom have since died. And one of these patients had been admitted to the burns centre, where the bacteria had not been diagnosed before.

The burns centre at the Maasstad hospital is one of only three such centres in the Netherlands. After lung damage as a result of inhaling smoke and soot, bacterial infections are the main cause of death among burn patients. It is not yet clear whether only one patient was infected.

A commission led by Leiden University Professor Evert de Jonge has launched an investigation into the files of all deceased patients to determine to what extent the bacteria was responsible for their deaths. The recent deaths are proof that a series of measures taken over the past few weeks to bring the outbreak under control have failed.

The Maasstad Hospital initially kept quiet about the Klebsiella pneumoniae infection and allegedly did not take adequate measures to address the situation until after the health inspectorate forced it to do so following revelations by public broadcaster NOS.

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment has sent experts to assist the Maasstad Hospital doctors.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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