Deadly Alabama infections from a bacteria “most commonly found in water”

Officials Investigate Deaths of 9 Patients on Tainted IVs, New York Times, March 30, 2011:

[Emphasis Added]

Health officials are investigating the deaths of nine patients at Alabama hospitals who were all given an intravenous nutritional supplement that investigators have found to have been contaminated by bacteria.

Ten other patients who received the nutritional supplement were also sickened by the bacteria, called Serratia marcescens, which is most commonly found in water, including some tap water, and sometimes in bathrooms. It can be introduced into the blood stream via contaminated fluid administered through a catheter. …

“At this point, we have nothing to suggest that this is more than a contaminated product distributed to specific hospitals,” [Dr. Donald E. Williamson, Alabama’s health officer] said. “Right now it looks like we have a contained and closed problem. It’s not an ongoing health threat.” …

See also: 9 dead in Alabama from “lethal bacteria” — “Unusual number of high-risk patients infected with a certain type of bacteria” (VIDEO)

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