An outbreak had occurred in two of these hospitals among patients receiving total parenteral nutrition, which is liquid nutrition fed through an IV using a catheter.

Contaminated IV Bags Suspected in Nine Patient Deaths in Alabama

Health officials are investigating the deaths of nine patients at Alabama hospitals who were given an intravenous nutritional supplement that had been contaminated by bacteria.

The Alabama Department of Public Health has announced an ongoing investigation of an outbreak of Serratia marcescens bacteremia in six Alabama hospitals. Nine of the 19 patients who were infected with the bacteria that got into their blood after they were fed intravenously have died.

ADPH was first notified March 16 that an outbreak had occurred in two of these hospitals among patients receiving TPN (total parenteral nutrition), which is liquid nutrition fed through an IV using a catheter. The bacteria were discovered in the TPN bags.

ADPH’s and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's initial investigation identified TPN produced by a single pharmacy, Meds IV, as a potential common source and determined that the six hospitals received TPN from this manufacturer. Affected hospitals are Baptist Princeton, Baptist Shelby, Baptist Prattville, Medical West, Cooper Green Mercy, and Select Specialty Hospital in Birmingham. CDC noted that it had not determined that TPN caused the deaths and that the investigation is ongoing.

Birmingham, Ala.-based Meds IV was notified of the possible contamination and informed ADPH that it discontinued all production of TPN and recalled all of its IV products March 24.

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