NHS issue urgent alert in wake of new-born case of Legionnaires’ Disease

Side of RRV with lozenge

NHS England has issued an urgent health alert after a baby was admitted to intensive care suffering from a confirmed case of Legionnaires’ disease.

Samples taken from the heated birthing pool in which the child was born have tested positive for legionella bacteria, which is thought to be directly linked to the baby’s serious lung infection.

Expectant mothers have been warned against home water births and the use of heated birthing pools, until a complete risk assessment and management strategy have been put into place.

If you attend a home birth where a birthing pool has been used or a baby who has been born in water, please be aware and pay close attention to the signs of infection; you can consult the NICE guidelines on feverish illness in children for more information. It may be necessary to talk to the midwife or to the respective hospital for history.

If you are unclear about any detail of the patient’s record or the presenting complaint, further assessment is likely to be required, so conveyance to hospital will be the most appropriate option.

Even though this might be a rare case, please maintain a high level of suspicion and as always, seek further advice if you are unsure of what action to take.

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