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Contaminated saline injections infect 12 hospital patients

Contaminated saline injections infect 12 hospital patients

Taipei, May 19 (CNA) A batch of intravenous saline solution found to be contaminated with bacteria has entered hospitals, clinics and pharmacies, causing infections among 12 patients to whom it was administered, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) said Tuesday. The CDC said it has been notified that as a result of the contamination, 12 patients at Taipei Veterans General Hospital have been infected with Ralstonia pickettii, a type of bacteria found in moist environments such as soils, rivers and lakes. The patients were all treated Monday for the bacterial infections and four of them were discharged from hospital Tuesday, Taipei Veterans General Hospital said. While Ralstonia pickettii is not highly pathogenic, it can cause serious problems in people who are in poor health, particularly those with weak immune systems, the CDC said. The complications of the infection may include bacteremia, sepsis and pneumonia, the CDC added. As of Tuesday morning, it had been determined that the contaminated saline had been supplied to seven hospitals, two clinics and more than 30 pharmacies by a local company, Y F Chemical Corp. (??????), the CDC said. The batch of saline, carrying the serial number 273A79D, should be withdrawn from use immediately, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said. The batch comprised a total 54,400 vials, each containing 20 milliliters of saline, it said. In a test of 17 samples of saline taken from Taipei Veterans General Hospital, two samples were found to be contaminated with Ralstonia pickettii, the FDA said. The agency said it will collaborate with local health authorities to test samples from other hospitals and clinics and from Y F Chemical for the presence of microorganisms. It is still unclear whether the solution was contaminated during the production process or as a result of poor handling by hospital personnel, said Chen Ke-sin (???), the head of the FDA's drug department, adding that the source will be determined within three weeks. (By Chen Ching-fang and Evelyn Kao)


Updated : 2021-09-17 01:57 GMT+08:00