By G9ija

Three babies are now confirmed to have died at the same hospital after they all contracted a rare blood infection.

Two babies who were born prematurely died at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow in January, while NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said a third has also died.

The third child was said to be have been seriously ill at the time of birth and the health board said that the Staphylococcus aureus infection was one of a number of factors in the death.

They said: “As previously reported, we have been rigorously managing a number of cases of a rare Staphylococcus aureus blood stream infection in extremely premature babies in the neonatal unit of the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital.

“Three babies, who were extremely poorly due to their very early birth, sadly died and infection was one of a number of contributing causes in their deaths.”

The third child had been receiving treatment following the deaths of the first two babies the health board said.

A programme of staff and family screening has been carried out at the hospital to combat the spread of the infection.

The board added: “As this was an extremely rare strain, which is highly resistant to the two antibiotics normally prescribed for S. Aureus and the skin cleaning agent routinely used in hospitals across the UK, we put in place a number of further infection control measures including the prescribing of different antibiotics and the introduction of a new skin cleaning agent.”

Staphylococcus aureus is found on the skin and in the nasal passage of some one in four people, and only causes infection when it enters the body.

No further patients at the hospital have tested positive for the infection since March but added that the source of the infection may never be known.