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Germany

Two babies dead, five critical from bacteria at German hospital

Two newborn babies have died and five were in a critical condition on Sunday after being given feeding drips suspected of being infected with bacteria. The contamination occured at a hospital in the German city of Mainz.

The view through the door of the lab

The hospital lab discovered the infections

Two babies have died and doctors fear for the life of five other infants, all of whom had been fed with infected intravenous drips at a hospital in the city of Mainz. An investigation is now underway to find the source of the contamination.

All the infants were patients at Mainz University Hospital in western Germany. Officials said 11 children had been given nutritional infusions which were contaminated with an unspecified bacteria.

The babies who died on Saturday were already seriously ill in intensive care before the transfusion. One of the babies was two months old and had been born prematurely. The other was eight months old.

Hospital expresses sympathy

"We're utterly shocked," said hospital chief executive Norbert Pfeiffer. "A hunt for the exact cause in the supply chain is going on now."

"Our deepest sympathy goes out to the parents and relatives of the children who died," Pfeiffer added.

He said the contamination was discovered during daily lab tests on the infusions. The hospital pharmacy immediately ceased using the components and switched to products from a different manufacturer.

Author: Joanna Impey (AFP, dpa)
Editor: Kyle James

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