No public notification of MRSA outbreak among infants at UC Irvine

Ten infants being treated at UC Irvine Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) have been infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, over the course of eight months, but the hospital did not report the outbreak to patients preparing to deliver babies at the facility.

The Los Angeles Times said UC Irvine only confirmed the outbreak after reporters learned of it from Marian Hollingsworth, a patient safety advocate who filed a complaint with state regulators.

“You never know if your baby will end up in the NICU,” Hollingswroth said. “I would have wanted to know.”

UC Irvine said it didn’t believe public notification was necessary after the infected patients were isolated in another unit, with new patients only being admitted to its other NICU. None of the infants died from the infections, the hospital said, and there’s been no active infections since March 26.

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