A baby has died after being infected by a suspected contaminated drip in an intensive care unit.
The newborn was being treated in the neonatal intensive care unit at St Thomas’ Hospital in Lambeth when it died from blood poisoning.
Two other babies have also been poisoned at the hospital. A spokesman for the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust said both are responding well to antibiotics.
An investigation has been launched by Public Health England and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after a total of 15 babies, many premature, in six hospitals across England developed septicaemia following a bacterial infection known as Bacillus cereus.
A PHE statement said the cases have been ‘strongly linked’ with a number of batches of a particular form of intravenous liquid called parenteral nutrition, which was given to the babies.
Parenteral nutrition, manufactured by ITH Pharma Limited, is supposed to deliver a variety of nutrients intravenously when a baby is unable to eat on its own.
The PHE spokeswoman said investigations with the company have identified "an incident that might have caused the contamination".
The baby died on June 1 at St Thomas', having been diagnosed when the infection was discovered on May 31.
Adam Burgess, the MHRA’s manager of the Defective Medicines Reporting Centre, said: “We have sent inspectors to the manufacturer’s facility to carry out a detailed and rigorous inspection and we have ensured that the potentially affected medicine is recalled.”
There are also four cases at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and one at the Whittington Hospital; three at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, two at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge and two at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital in Bedfordshire.
All are responding well to antibiotics and their parents have been informed, the hospitals said.