Health Department investigates bacterial infection at NJ hospital after baby dies

NEWARK, N.J. — The Department of Health is investigating four cases of a bacterial infection at a New Jersey hospital after a baby under the facility’s care died.

The premature baby was in the neonatal intensive care unit at the University Hospital in Newark and was infected with the bacteria, Acinetobacter baumannii, health officials said.

The baby was transferred to another facility and died toward the end of September, prior to the notification of problems in the NICU unit, according to the Health Department.

The cause of death is under investigation.

The Health Department first became aware of the bacterial infection on Oct. 1 and has been monitoring the situation, health officials said. Inspection revealed major infection control deficiencies, including hand hygiene and protective equipment cleanliness.

A Directed Plan of Correction has since been ordered, requiring the hospital to employ a consultant for infection control as they continue to explore further actions needed to ensure patient safety.

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