In the context of the current Pseudomonas incident, the Public Health Agency (PHA) continues to work closely with the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and Health and Social Care Trusts to support the investigation and provide advice on control measures. In particular, the PHA has played a key role in the provision of additional guidance on actions to be taken in neonatal units.
Dr Philip Donaghy, Consultant in Health Protection, PHA, said: "The PHA is supporting the HSC Trusts by providing practical guidance on infection prevention and control to help them to minimise the risk of Pseudomonas.
“As a further precautionary measure, there is now an ongoing programme of water testing and replacement of taps in neonatal intensive care units in all trusts in Northern Ireland. Babies are not coming into contact with the water and very strict infection control measures are in place in all neonatal units.
“I would also like to emphasise that effective infection control for all staff and visitors to neonatal units is vital. It is also important that the public continues to follow good hygiene practice when visiting hospitals. In particular, parents of babies in neonatal units must wash and dry their hands thoroughly and use an alcohol rub before they touch the baby or babies’ equipment.
“A leaflet for parents and other useful information is available on the PHA website.”
Photo credit: Janice Haney Carr.
Notes to the editor
- For interview requests, please contact Gary McKeown on 028 9055 3663
- The DHSSPS issued further environmental guidance to the Trusts at the weekend on dealing with Pseudomonas in neonatal units.
- The interim guidance, developed in conjunction with the Health Protection Agency and the Public Health Agency, provides advice on testing for Pseudomonas and best practice for dealing with it. It reinforces guidance issued in previous communications.
- Information on infection control has been developed is available on the PHA website at http://www.publichealth.hscni.net/directorate-public-health/health-protection/healthcare-associated-infections-clean-your-hands
- The PHA will be issuing the next update on pseudomonas infection and colonisations on Monday afternoon.