Hinchingbrooke Hospital: Maternity unit reopens

THE maternity unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital has reopened to expectant mothers after being closed on Tuesday (March 16) after an outbreak of a group A streptococcus infection. On the same day, all visitors were banned from the hospital after an outbreak

THE maternity unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital has reopened to expectant mothers after being closed on Tuesday (March 16) after an outbreak of a group A streptococcus infection.

On the same day, all visitors were banned from the hospital after an outbreak of the "winter vomiting" Norovirus which hit three wards, Spruce, Peartree and Walnut.

On Tuesday, it was announced that pregnant women were being sent to the nearest alternative hospital with vacant beds.

The group A streptococcus infection usually cases a mild sore throat or skin infection, such as impetigo, however it can also cause a more serious condition.

As a precaution, all women who had given birth at the hospital or who had invasive assessments in the maternity until since the beginning of March were to be written to and advised what to do if they had symptoms including severe muscle aches or tenderness or a high fever.

Liz Pointing, director of nursing midwifery and operations at Hinchingbrooke, said that the Norovirus outbreak was believed to have been brought into the hospital by a visitor.

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"We have asked visitors not to come to the hospital if they have had symptoms in the previous 48 hours but now we feel we have little choice but to stop all visiting until this outbreak is over."

She added that people wanting to visit seriously ill patients could discuss arrangements with the senior nurse in charge of the ward.

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