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May 21, 2019

Two more premature babies die at Newark hospital after bacterial outbreak

November 28, 2018
Three babies have now died from bacterial infections at University Hospital in Newark since September. (Mel Evans / AP)

Two more premature babies died in a New Jersey hospital last week, bringing the total to three since a bacterial outbreak there in September.

Both babies contracted A. baumannii six weeks ago at University Hospital in Newark, the New Jersey Department of Health announced Tuesday.

The unidentified infants died last week, but the New Jersey Department of Health said it was not notified until Monday. A department survey team was on site Tuesday “investigate the hospital’s internal notification policies, governance, and other factors that relate to reporting of deaths of cases during an ongoing outbreak,” health officials said.

“As of yesterday, the hospital’s own infection control program was not aware of the deaths when contacted.”

Due to the premature births, an official cause of death has not yet been determined.

In response, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka called for an “overhaul of the quality of care and the leadership of the hospital.”

“The hospital is central to providing health care to Newark residents, and I have been very concerned about its quality of care,” he said in a statement.

Four babies in total were exposed to the bacteria since September; three have died and the fourth was discharged from the hospital last month.

A spokeswoman for University Hospital told that the staff “have worked diligently since the Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria was discovered in our neonatal intensive care unit to control the outbreak.”

“We continue to reinforce proper procedures and protocols with our team,” Dana Yeganian said.

No new cases have been reported since October.

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