Premature babies die after severe burns from antiseptic wipes!

premature babyThe Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the United Kingdom is urging doctors and medical professionals to be cautious when using chlorhexidine antiseptic on tiny babies after finding that it can have severe side effects including chemical burns leading to skin loss and even death. The solution has been linked to the death of three babies in the United Kingdom. It is found in antiseptic wipes that are used before a catheter is inserted. The serious side effects and deaths are happening to premature infants.

Aw, as if preemies and their parents don't have enough to worry about.


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A total of 28 newborns have "suffered serious side effects" after being wiped down with antiseptic wipes containing chlorhexidine. The side effects happened to babies who were born and treated with the solution before 32 weeks of pregnancy.

What is being recommended is that health workers use as little of the chemical as needed to treat small babies and to monitor them frequently.

You would think it would be easy to just ask health care workers to stop using this stuff, but it's not because the reason it is used is to prevent catheter-related blood infections in preemies.

According to Dr June Raine, director of MHRA's Vigilance and Risk Management of Medicines Division, "Hospital use of chlorhexidine has a crucial role in preventing infection in premature infants, which is a leading cause of death in neonatal units and is used safely many thousands of times every year in hospital."

Okay, well I understand why the use of chlorhexidine is important and I hope that with these warnings no more babies will get hurt or die because of it.

Scary stuff for parents of preemies, you put so much trust in health care workers and to think that a lack of training, knowledge or diligence could hurt your baby is mortifying.

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: babies  safety  health