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Wednesday
Mar302011

Contaminated IV Bags Being Investigated After Nine Die in Alabama

Paul Tearle/Thinkstock(MONTGOMERY, Ala.) -- Amid news that nine patients have died, health officials in Alabama are looking into what caused intravenous feeding bags at multiple state hospitals to become contaminated with bacteria.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said a total of 19 patients have become infected with the bacteria Serratia marcescens after being hooked up to the IV lines.  On Tuesday, they announced that close to half of the patients had died.

The department said the contamination was spotted at six hospitals in Alabama -- Baptist Princeton, Baptist Shelby, Baptist Prattville, Medical West, Cooper Green, Mercy and Select Specialty Hospital.  With help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the outbreak was traced back to the pharmacy Meds IV.

Meds IV was notified of the contamination and recalled all of its IV bags.  The hospitals affected also stopped using the pharmacy's bags immediately.

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ABC News Radio