New disclosures on disinfectants infected with bacteria at Elias hospital

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Two millions of bacteria have been tracked down in the disinfectant soap Maxil produced by Romchim, a company from Târgu Mureș, used by Elias Hospital in Bucharest two years ago.

According to a new investigation published on tolo.ro, the case appeared in 2014 when two millions of bacteria on millimeter of disinfectant have been tracked down by two employees’ of the Elias hospital’s lab, two days after two patients admitted there had contracted nosocomial infections: a new born baby and an old man suffering of cancer.

It was Serratia marcescens, usually found in latrines, now discovered in high concentration in a disinfectant product meant to kill bacteria.

Doctors Mariana Buzea and Marilena Filipoiu discovered ‘the infected’ disinfectant on July 30, 2014, when one of them had the idea of checking the Maxil disinfectant soap after its content seemed to be impure only by looking at it with naked eye while she was washing her hands with it.

Subsequently, the microbiology lab from Elias extends the checks and identifies the same bacteria on the patients’ blood samples.

“We found out a new bacteria for our hospital: Serratia marcescens. A latrine bacteria! Something was not right,” medical director Daniela Safta told the journalists from the above-mentioned website.

The newborn baby and the old man with cancer end up with sepsie, in serious condition. Doctos prescribed antibiotics and after some complications, they managed to get them stabilized.

Later on, the hospital manager Doina Dimulescu sent the tests to the Cantacuzino Institute, which discovered two millions of bacteria per mm. “It’s huge concentration, more than the most critical water from the sink,” the doctors said.

In early August 2014, the hospital starts checking all Maxil stocks, with all tests proving to be contaminated.

“We called the factory, the producer. They denied,” director Safta said.

The hospital manager Dimulescu sent a notice to the Public Health Direction and to the Health Ministry.

They also called the other hospitals known to be using Maxil product. “The hospital in Focsani and the Heart Transplant Hospital in Târgu Mureș confirmed they found the same bacteria”, Daniela Safta reminded.

The scandal gets public in October 2014, the Health ministry’s officials giving unclear statements. Former Health minister Banicioiu says the European standards don’t compel other bodies to check the products’ content. “Those certificates are in compliance with the European legislation. The tests are run by the producer and are stipulated in the certificate. In this case, there must have been a false statements and an improper test procedure,” Bancioiu used to say in the autumn of 2014.

The head of the National Microbiology Society, Alexandru Rafila, Banicioiu’s adviser at that time said that the nosocomial infections must be “historically searched” and that the ministry is not an intervention institution.

However, the scandal was dropped out; meanwhile, Romchim continued to produce and, paradoxically, it sued the Elias Hospital for the unit had banned the company to bid in a public sale in 2015-2016.

“It’s inadmissible that the Health Ministry lets us manage all by ourselves in 2014 and in 2016! This producer not only that is still on the market, but the company sued us. Eventually we won the lawsuit with Romchim, but no health authority haven’t concluded the 2014 case. Can you believe it?” said the Elias manager Doina Dimulescu.

Elias won the lawsuit with Romchim in April 2016, meaning about a month ago. Meanwhile, the hospital had bought disinfectants from a different company, Hexi Pharma. Ten days later since they won the case in the Bucharest Court of Appeal, the hospital had to give up Hexi Pharma products, after the tests proved they were diluted.

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