MRSA outbreak at a NY Maternity Ward

Here is the story.

I recently heard of a woman who had in her birth plan (among other things) that she wanted to give the baby its first bath, and her baby had a sign put on its plastic box-bed whatchamacallit in the nursery that it was “contaminated” and not to touch it without gloves. I understand that until the baby is bathed that it would have traces of amniotic fluid, and perhaps bacteria from the mother, so I don’t say that there should not have been some notice given, but the phrasing used was a bit over-the-top. Something nicer like, “Baby has not been bathed, please wear gloves” would have sufficed — “contaminated” sounds like it was radioactive or something. The wording was probably in retribution for the woman having been a “difficult” patient — that is, she didn’t just blindly accept everything the doctor and hospital staff wanted, but made her own decisions, including declining drugs.

In light of the above story about MRSA, which caused 7 newborns to develop rashes (and I hope that’s all that happens to the poor wee babes), I would say that this woman’s decision should be lauded on all sides. After all, handling of the babies is definitely or almost definitely how they contracted this drug-resistant infection, so if strangers don’t handle them (i.e., the parents bathe them, have them room-in, etc.), then the risk of contracting MRSA drops dramatically.

Visit Hospital Infection.org for more information on steps you can take to prevent acquiring an infection while at a hospital.

One Response

  1. That is scary about the infection going through the maternity ward. Yes, hands off is maybe a GOOD idea!

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