Bacterial Outbreak in Australian Hospitals Linked to Imported Saline Products from India and Greece

Nsw Ambulance

An outbreak of bacterial infections in hospitals across the nation, linked to nearly 50 cases, including a fatal incident in Queensland, has prompted a quarantine notice for saline products suspected of contamination with Ralstonia—a bacteria typically found in soil and water.

Australia's medical oversight body, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, issued an alert leading to the immediate removal of certain saline products from hospitals, particularly in New South Wales (NSW), where the bacterial outbreak was identified.

Scientists in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) have pinpointed products from India and Greece as potential sources of contamination, according to Queensland Health Minister Shannon Fentiman.

As of now, there are 44 suspected cases nationwide, with condolences extended to the family of an elderly patient in Queensland who succumbed to the infection. Five probable cases have been reported at another private hospital in Queensland.

Although bacterial contamination is not reported in Queensland public hospitals, an urgent patient safety alert has been issued. Ralstonia poses a significant risk, especially to patients with underlying health conditions and those with implanted medical devices.

Described as a national issue with origins in NSW and involving imported products, the identified saline items were used across seven Queensland Health services but have since been removed.

Queensland's chief health officer is expected to provide an update on the situation."

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