The New Jersey Department of Health is investigating four Acinetobacter baumannii cases in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of University Hospital in Newark.
The Department first became aware of this bacterial infection on Oct. 1 and two Department teams have been closely monitoring the situation.
Those department teams, which have been at the facility last week and this week, have been ensuring that infection control protocols are followed and are tracking cases of the infection.
The Department’s inspection revealed major infection control deficiencies.
A premature baby who had been cared for at University Hospital and had the bacteria, was transferred to another facility and passed away toward the end of September, prior to the Department's notification of problems in the NICU. Due to the other compounding medical conditions, the exact cause of death is still being investigated.
The Department has ordered a Directed Plan of Correction that requires University Hospital to employ a full-time Certified Infection Control Practitioner consultant, who will report to the Department on immediate actions taken in the coming days.
The Department is also exploring further actions it may need to take in the coming days to ensure patient safety.