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October 25, 2018: NJDOH Investigates Acinetobacter Outbreak at University Hospital, Newark

NJ Acinetobacter Outbreak Announced – The New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) announced that it is investigating four Acinetobacter baumannii infections in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of University Hospital in Newark.

About Acinetobacter

Acinetobacter is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen mainly affecting people with compromised immune systems. It is a significant healthcare-associated infection. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Acinetobacter causes a variety of diseases, ranging from pneumonia to serious blood or wound infections, and the symptoms vary depending on the disease.”

Acinetobacter can be spread by person-to-person contact or by coming into contact with contaminated surfaces. Infection control procedures, including hand washing and environmental cleaning, can reduce the risk of transmission.

New Jersey Department of Health Findings

The DOH reports that it first became aware of the Acinetobacter outbreak on October 1, 2018. Two DOH teams were sent to the hospital to monitor the situation. Their efforts have included ensuring that infections control protocols are followed and tracking Acinetobacter outbreak cases.

Serious infection control deficiencies were observed during multiple DOH inspections of the facility, and a Directed Plan of Correction was ordered. The Directed Plan of Correction will require University Hospital to employ a full-time Certified Infection Control Practitioner consultant by October 30, 2018. This infection control specialist will provide recommendations for immediate corrective actions to ensure that patient safety is not jeopardized and that state licensing standards are met by the hospital.

Sadly, the DOH also reported that a premature infant who had contracted Acinetobacter while being cared for at University Hospital, passed away after being transferred to another facility. The exact cause of the infant’s death is still being investigated.

Healthcare-Associated Infection (HIA) Lawsuit Help

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