German prosecutors are looking into whether to charge Mainz University Hospital with negligent homicide, after two babies in its care died at the weekend. They had been on intravenous drip-feeds thought to have been contaminated with unspecified intestinal bacteria. Another is critically ill.
The origin of the contamination is under investigation. The hospital said eleven babies were exposed. Five were affected.
Head of the Child and Baby Centre Dr. Fred Zepp said: “Four of them spent the night in a stable condition. They are better than yesterday and we expect that to improve more today. The fifth affected baby, who was born very prematurely and suffered severely from the infection, has not improved. here, we expect the worst.”
Bacterial infection may not on its own have been deadly. The babies were seriously ill already, in an intensive-care ward on Saturday.
The hospital said its pharmacologists mixed the drips with components from commercial suppliers. The tubes are also being studied.