Health Highlights: Dec. 6, 2018
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Staff at N.J. Facility Where 11 Children Died Did Not Follow Sanitation Procedures
The adenovirus outbreak that infected more than 30 children and killed 11 at a New Jersey rehabilitation facility was driven by staff that did not follow proper sanitation procedures, state inspectors report.
They discovered that staff at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation were "moving from patient to patient, not changing gloves, not washing hands, handling equipment before they even took care of sanitizing themselves, and potentially passing germs on from kid to kid to kid," New Jersey State Senator Joe Vitale told CBS News.
Vitale led a hearing this week looking into the outbreak at the center, which cares for severely ill children who have weakened immune systems, putting them at increased risk from adenovirus infection.
"There was a breakdown not just in communication, but there was a breakdown in following the protocols to take care of these very medically fragile children," Vitale said.
Most people who get sick from adenoviruses recover after a few days, but those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of severe complications, CBS News reported.
The outbreak at the Wanaque Center began Sept. 26, but the facility didn't alert state health officials until 13 days later. State health commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal says he was notified 10 days after that, on Oct. 19. By that time, five children had already died.
A new policy is in place requiring immediate notification of the health commissioner and principal deputy when there are outbreaks where children have died, Elnahal said at the hearing, CBS News reported.
The Wanaque Center owners were not at the hearing, claiming it was not the "appropriate setting" to talk about the outbreak.
Worldwide Search For Donors to Help Girl With Rare Blood Type
A worldwide search is on for blood donors who can help a 2-year-old girl who's battling cancer and has one of the rarest blood types in the world.
To survive, Zainab Mughal will likely require blood transfusions from seven to 10 donors, but getting that number could be difficult, CNN reported.
That's because Zainab has a type of blood found only in people of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent, and less than 4 percent of people in those populations may be a match for Zainab, whose family is from Pakistan.
The global search for suitable donors is being aided by OneBlood, a South Florida nonprofit organization.
"We have a zero percent chance of finding compatible blood for this little girl if we look in pretty much any other ethnic group," Frieda Bright, a lab manager with OneBlood, said in a video from the organization, CNN reported.
While the search is global, the ideal outcome would be finding donors in the United States, according to OneBlood.
The group said the search began in September and so far, two compatible donors in the United States and one in the U.K. have been found, CNN reported.
Zainab has a cancer called neuroblastoma and requires treatment with chemotherapy.
"She's going to need to be completely supported by blood donations in order to survive the cancer treatment in order to kill this cancer," Bright said. "The blood's not going to cure her, but the blood's very, very important to support her while she undergoes the treatment for this particular cancer."
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