Nine hospital patients die due to contaminated IVs

March 30, 2011
by Olga Deshchenko, DOTmed News Reporter
Nine hospital patients treated with contaminated intravenous feeding bags have died, Alabama's Department of Public Health said Tuesday.

Ten other patients are also sick in six hospitals across the state. The infection affected patients who were receiving TPN (total parenteral nutrition), a liquid nutrition delivered through an IV using a catheter. Contaminated products may lead to a bacterial infection of the blood.

Health officials are currently investigating the outbreak of Serratia marcescens bacteremia, a believed source of the contamination in the facilities, according to ADPH.

The state health agency was notified of the outbreak on March 16 and requested help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The officials sourced the contaminated IVs to a single pharmacy, Birmingham-based Meds IV. It has since halted production.

On March 24, Meds IV also voluntarily recalled all of its IV compounded products and notified its customers of the possible contamination, ADPH said.

The affected hospitals include Baptist Princeton, Baptist Shelby, Baptist Prattville, Medical West, Cooper Green Mercy and Select Specialty Hospital in Birmingham, Al.