Health Department Visit Prompts Changes at Geisinger NICU

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DANVILLE, MONTOUR COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health releases its findings from an investigation into the deaths of three babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville.

The findings come from an on-site investigation that started on October 9th and concluded on October 25th at Geisinger Medical Center. The Pennsylvania Department of Health determined the facility was not in compliance with legal requirements in relation to the deaths of three infants last fall.

The babies died from a waterborne bacterial infection they contracted in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Geisinger. The Department of Health’s investigation reveals Geisinger Medical Center in Montour County failed to properly sanitize equipment used to process donor breast milk and infant formula.

According to the report, the hospital also failed to have a written policy for the sanitization of equipment used to prepare the breast milk and formula. In addition, the breast milk was not stored within appropriate temperatures, as recommended by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.

Geisinger spokesman Matt Van Stone issued a statement reading in part: “These citations along with others for ensuring a safe environment, proper sanitizing and storage were addressed immediately on October 18th.”

Van Stone also says the Department of Health approved a plan for corrective action which included immediate development of a policy and new medical-grade sanitation equipment.

Back in October, Eyewitness News reported that 8 infants were sickened while at the facility and three died due to a waterborne bacterial infection. Click Here to find the original story.

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