3 premature babies die at Pennsylvania hospital, possibly from bacterial infection

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A bacterial infection may have been responsible for the deaths of three infants in a Pennsylvania hospital.

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The hospital is now diverting specific mothers and recently born babies to other hospitals.

The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville "recently experienced an increase in cases of pseudomonas infection, a waterborne bacteria, among premature infants," Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Edward Hartle said in a statement provided to USA TODAY.

Eight infants in Geisinger's NICU were treated for pseudomonas infection, according to the statement.

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Four of the infants have been "successfully treated" and one is responding to antibiotic treatment.

The three babies died in August and September. All three were born before 27 weeks of gestation, according to the New York Times.

Geisinger Medical Center is diverting mothers likely to give birth prematurely before 32 weeks gestation and infants born at less than 32 weeks gestation to other hospitals in Pennsylvania.

Geisinger has established two hotline numbers for those in the area with questions: 570-214-9087 and 570-214-9088.

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According to the CDC, "Pseudomonas can be spread on the hands of healthcare workers or by equipment that gets contaminated and is not properly cleaned."

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