Deadly germline alarm: 28 seriously infected patients in the Cologne radiology department!

28 patients are infected with a potentially fatal pathogen at the doctor

A radiology clinic in Cologne has experienced a serious epidemic of life-threatening germs. An 84-year-old patient has already died of the bacteria. At least 27 other people were also infected. The case is currently the subject of a judicial inquiry.

In a radiology clinic in Cologne, Zeppelinstraße, at least 28 patients were reported to have been infected with a life-threatening bacterium. A patient has already died of infection. Franz O., 84, received in practice in January 2019 an injection for back pain, then became ill with meningitis (meningitis). After several months of illness, he passed away in mid-April as a result of a multiple organ failure. The autopsy finally revealed the dangerous bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Hospital germs spread in the radiology of Cologne

"In the context of scanner-guided epidural infiltrations, infections with a pancreatic agent, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, have occurred for about two and a half weeks," confirms the medical director of the Medical Care Center (MVZ) at Neumarkt Cologne, opposite the newspaper "Kölner" Stadt-Anzeiger ". 28 patients were probably infected during this period. The Cologne Prosecutor's Office is currently examining the case.

It started with back pain

Franz O., 84, had a backache in January 2019. At the Cologne MVZ, he was then given an injection for the pain, with which he apparently contracted the germ from the hospital. Shortly after, the man became ill with meningitis, causing serious complications. "When a paraplegia threatened, my husband had to be operated on," said his wife at "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger". 36 hours after the operation, Franz O. died of a failure of several organs. The Cologne prosecutor is currently investigating whether the death of the man is directly related to the infection.

Cologne Radiology independently informed the prosecutor

Franz O. was not, however, an isolated case. At least 27 other patients were seriously ill after radiological treatment. Due to the large number of affected patients, the MVZ finally opened the prosecution itself. "We are in close contact with the patients involved and we deeply regret that they have been infected in our practice," says Herbrik. The CEO of MVZ announced that the practice was the damage suffered if the court saw the fault of the drugs. In total, the MVZ informed 297 patients in writing about the risk of infection.

One of the worst epidemics in Europe

The spokesman of the German Society for Hospital Hygiene, Peter Walger, commented on the case and spoke of "the worst outbreak of this pathogen in an outpatient medical facility". In Europe, to date, no other serious cases have been described, so Walger.

What makes Pseudomonas aeruginosa so dangerous?

The stem-shaped bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is frugal, resistant and persistent. It is one of the most feared germs in the hospital because the pathogen can survive various disinfectants and antibiotics. Infections with the bacteria can lead to various clinical presentations, including urinary tract infections, enterocolitis, meningitis, middle ear infections or wounds. It is not uncommon that this leads to serious complications that can be fatal.

Why is Pseudomonas aeruginosa so resistant?

The bacterium has a number of defense mechanisms. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, for example, can replenish the active ingredients of certain antibiotics to render them ineffective. In addition, bacteria produce a thick layer of mucus, a biofilm, which protects them. The immune system is therefore difficult to detect and fight Pseudomonas aeruginosa. (Vb)

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