Nosocomial colonization and infection with Klebsiella pneumoniae can occur in neonatal intensive care units.1.2 Epidemics associated with intravenous therapy in children and adults3-6 and epidemics related to scalp vein needle contamination in an intensive care nursery have been documented.7 We are reporting a K pneumoniae type 68 epidemic in a neonatal intensive care unit, probably related to contamination of the intravenous fluid, resulting from a breakdown in the technique of handling the intravenous solutions.
Methods.—The epidemic took place in the intensive care nursery of a maternity hospital with 5,000 deliveries and 250 high-risk newborn referrals each year.
The infants were cared for in either incubators or bassinets. Personnel observed the usual hand washing technique using a 3% hexachlorophene solution.
For infants receiving intravenous fluids, the infusion system was changed daily; scalp vein needles were changed only after they had infiltrated and parenteral solutions were prepared