Intravenous fluid bags contaminated with bacteria are suspected of causing nine deaths at Alabama hospitals. Ten other patients treated with the same product—which has now been pulled off the market—were sickened, AP reports. All the patients were critically ill before receiving the IVs and the deaths have not been definitively attributed to serratia marcescens bacteria, say officials. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention experts are investigating.
An Alabama Health Department official praised the efforts of those involved in spotting and containing the outbreak. "This is actually the way the system should work," he told CNN. "A couple of hospitals identified that they were seeing an unusual number of cases of serratia marcescens bacteremia. When they saw that, they contacted us, and we contacted the CDC and very quickly got" production of the product stopped.