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Baby in NICU - were they being unreasonable?

(207 Posts)
LostMyMojoSomewhere Fri 15-Dec-17 13:19:48

This is not a recent scenario but it's been playing on my mind a bit. Not planning to say who's who - just interested in how this situation was/should have been handled.

Mother goes into spontaneous labour 4 days before scheduled ELCS. Baby loses lots of blood and is very poorly - admitted to NICU, is treated for kidney problems and tissue damage caused by blood loss. Mother sits next to his incubator for the next 2 days (although is kicked out overnight). Incubator is in a room containing 3 other cots with prem/poorly babies.

Day 3 baby is moved into HDU - also a room containing 3 cots (slightly less poorly, but still tiny/weak babies).

Day 4 hospital realises from the pre-admission tests that mother has MRSA in her nose. Mother is banned from post-natal ward and isolated on the maternity ward. Given treatment for MRSA.

Mother is refused access to HDU/Neo natal because of the risk of infection from the evening of day 4 onwards. Poorly baby remains in HDU for 2 more days.

Just interested in people's thoughts.

Eltonjohnssyrup Fri 15-Dec-17 13:23:24

That's incredibly sad but she also posed a risk to her own baby. How long was she off the HDU for?

GleamingHeels Fri 15-Dec-17 13:23:31

Horrible situation, but the mother was a potential risk to all of the babies and so I think she had to be kept out of the rooms.

Mostly though, the hospital shouldn't have let her in in the first place since they should have known about the MRSA

MissDuke Fri 15-Dec-17 13:24:21

Awww poor mum flowers This must have been so hard sad Unfortunately however this is all correct procedure. Babies in neonatal are regularly screened for MRSA and if any come back positive then the baby is immediately isolated. Neonatal units have to adhere to very strict infection control protocols. No adult with a known contagious infection can enter. Can I ask for more info on what you want to know?

Eltonjohnssyrup Fri 15-Dec-17 13:24:24

Sorry, the baby was in 2 more days. Awful situation for mother, must have been horrendous for her, but the hospital did the right thing.

Tinselistacky Fri 15-Dec-17 13:24:50

They were correct in banning the dm.
The hospital are fighting to keep babies alive and she was a danger to that.

StupidSlimyGit Fri 15-Dec-17 13:24:59

Bang out of order, I have some experience of a very poorly baby in ICU, in my experience mom is the only person allowed to stay over night. With an infection such as MRSA I can understand them saying she shouldn't touch her baby, and possibly relegating her little one to the side rooms but separating a mother and baby of that age is so very cruel. The hospital I had DD1 did this for 12 hours and were quite severely told off when I went to PALs about it after she passed.
I hope mothers and baby are doing well and are together now flowers

user1471462428 Fri 15-Dec-17 13:25:15

MRSA is extremely dangerous and can kill adults let alone vulnerable neonates. The hospital were completely right to isolate the mother. It would have been the height of stupidity to let her visit and risk her own baby and the other babies lives.

EB123 Fri 15-Dec-17 13:25:15

Horrible situation but the hospital did the right thing.

NeilPetark Fri 15-Dec-17 13:25:27

What do you think they should have done?

Flower0304 Fri 15-Dec-17 13:25:45

Not at all unreasonable. My DS was born at 33 weeks and had severe breathing difficulties, digestive issues and caught sepsis while he was in intensive care - twice! He also caught group b strep.

He was poorly enough without the risk of catching something else. My DH was banned for 3 days after an episode of diarrhoea.

The babies health must always come first.

CotswoldStrife Fri 15-Dec-17 13:26:33

It's not clear what you think was the unreasonable part here - if it was barring the mother with MRSA from the HDU then that is reasonable IMO, would be very difficult for prem babies to cope with MRSA.

Not sure why you are not saying who you are, you will either be a member of the medical staff who barred the mother (my guess) or the mother herself!

MissDuke Fri 15-Dec-17 13:26:34

For whoever said she should never have been allowed in - the result will have been acted upon as soon as it came back. There is a process with infections like MRSA, various people will have been informed of the result so there is no way it was missed. It takes time for tests like that to come back.

Animation86 Fri 15-Dec-17 13:27:17

Mother is refused access to HDU/Neo natal because of the risk of infection from the evening of day 4 onwards. Poorly baby remains in HDU for 2 more days

Quite right.

I don't see whats questionable about this, I'd be furious at the hospital tbh for having all these babies at risk in NICU and HDU. Actually makes my skin crawl at how bad this is, having been in one with my LO for 12 weeks.

PodgeBod Fri 15-Dec-17 13:29:40

I don't have any experience with poorly newborns but I think it was cruel to kick the mother out overnight before the infection was known and I'm surprised they do this.

blueskyinmarch Fri 15-Dec-17 13:29:58

I think i would be cross that the hospital didn't pick up the MRSA issue quicker. That was a lot of babies put potentially at risk!

Emlou07 Fri 15-Dec-17 13:30:33

Having had 2 prem babies and 2 ICU/NICU stays I don't believe it was unreasonable at all.

Horrible, gut wrenching, heartbreaking yes. But god forbid she passed anything on to any of the poorly babies there.. it just doesn't bare thinking about.

I feel for her deeply! My first nicu stay resulted in PND. I wouldn't wish it on any one.

But I don't think there would be any other alternative here x

OlennasWimple Fri 15-Dec-17 13:30:45

The unreasonable bit was the hospital not realising for so long that the mother was a risk, especially as she was with the most vulnerable babies at that time.

OP, I'm going to guess that you are the mother in this situation. flowers - having a preemie or a sick baby is horrible. I hope they are doing well now

Christmascardqueen Fri 15-Dec-17 13:31:29

The unreasonable part is that it was missed (moms mrsa status) for so long.

MissDuke Fri 15-Dec-17 13:31:32

Podge I agree, though I wonder was it more gentle encouragement for the mum to get some rest? They are bound to let mums in overnight as some will be breastfeeding. I was told I could go in when I wanted overnight - or they would ring me when dd needed fed.

Emlou07 Fri 15-Dec-17 13:31:42

ALSO - I don't know of a nicu where mothers are kicked out?! Parents had 24 hour access. Visitors were close family only and no contact with baby.

I would also be annoyed that they didn't pick it up sooner x

NightmareOnElmoStreet Fri 15-Dec-17 13:32:51

MRSA may be deadly to preterm babies with central lines. Unless the colonised mother and baby could be isolated together within the NICU, staying out of the nursery until treated seems reasonable.

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 15-Dec-17 13:32:54

The MRSA action was correct. However they shouldn't have kicked out either parent from NICU overnight. My understanding was that 24 hr access for parents is the norm on NICU/SCBU wards.

Animation86 Fri 15-Dec-17 13:33:07

I don't have any experience with poorly newborns but I think it was cruel to kick the mother out overnight before the infection was known and I'm surprised they do this
Its normal in our hospital, at the time I was a bit sad but looking back it forced mothers to get some rest, pump during the night and kept the unit quiet for the babies.

Floellabumbags Fri 15-Dec-17 13:33:39

They were correct.

DS spent two days in the "MRSA cupboard" after transfer from NICU to SCBU while we were awaitiing his test results. I quite liked life in the MRSA cupboard.

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