Saturday 3 December 2016

Sick children face IV food drip issue

Published 25/10/2015 | 02:30

The HSE last night moved to assure families of critically ill children in hospitals around the country that there were enough drips available “for the next number of days
The HSE last night moved to assure families of critically ill children in hospitals around the country that there were enough drips available “for the next number of days

Critically ill patients, including young children and babies, will continue to receive IV food drips over the coming days despite a shortage in the supply of the product due to manufacturing issues.

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The issue is at the same Dublin company, Fannin Compounding, that last week recalled chemotherapy drugs over contamination fears.

The HSE last night moved to assure families of critically ill children in hospitals around the country that there were enough drips available "for the next number of days".

A spokesman said: "The current supplier of paediatric and neonatal specialist feeds is working with the maternity and children's hospitals to ensure the maximum supply of feeds over the weekend."

But he added there was no fear of the drips running out. "All of the hospitals have their own contingency plans in place and there will be a supply, if not from Fannin then from other sources."

A Fannin spokeswoman said the production of the drips had been curtailed due to the company's transition from a seven-day to a five-day production schedule.

She said the issue over drips was not connected with a machine known as an isolator that was taken temporarily out of commission when it was found to be contaminated by bacteria which can cause potentially life-threatening gastro-intestinal infections in people with weakened immune systems.

Consequently, more than 200 cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy at hospitals around the country were informed they may have been contaminated by the bacteria and were urged to get follow-up checks. An investigation is also under way.

Sunday Independent

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