Geisinger Medical Center investigating the cause of an infection that claimed three infant’s lives

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DANVILLE, MONTOUR COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Right now – doctors at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville are investigating how an infection claimed the lives of three premature babies.

Doctors at the NICU at Geisinger just recently experienced an outbreak of pseudomonas infection. While the hospital won’t say when exactly the three infants died – they are promising to get answers.

“I’d like to take this opportunity on behalf of Geisinger Medical Center and our entire Geisinger Family to express our deepest sympathies and to offer our full support to those families and their loved ones who may have been affected,” Rosemary Leeming, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Geisinger Medical Center said.

A press conference was held this afternoon discussing what the hospital plans to do next.

Eight infants were affected by pseudomonas. Four have been successfully treated and are doing well. One is still undergoing treatment. While doctors say this infection is oftentimes harmless, the three babies who died from it were considered extremely premature.

“It’s really too soon to say exactly where the organism is coming from, but what we have, the info we have so far, suggests it’s someplace outside of the NICU and are continuing to pursue that and confirm that as best we can,” Mark Shelly, M.D., Director of Infection Prevention said.

Officials with Geisinger say they are taking the precautionary steps in making sure this type of outbreak doesn’t happen again.

Out of caution, doctors are diverting mothers who are expected to deliver prematurely before 32 weeks to other regional institutions across the commonwealth with appropriate NICU capabilities.

“It does not affect any mom who is delivering a child over 32 weeks gestation. This is critically important. No mom whose delivering over that gestation age should have any concern about delivering here at Geisinger Medical Center,” Rosemary Leeming M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Geisinger Medical Center said.

Geisinger leaders say they hope to have more answers about how this happened in a couple of weeks.

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