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Attorney Applauds State’s Findings Following Infant Deaths at Geisinger NICU

MAHONING TOWNSHIP, Pa.  — A scathing report from the State Department of Health found Geisinger Medical Center near Danville failed on multiple levels to ...

MAHONING TOWNSHIP, Pa.  -- A scathing report from the State Department of Health found Geisinger Medical Center near Danville failed on multiple levels to provide sanitary conditions to its most vulnerable patients, premature babies in its NICU.

Geisinger Medical Center was blasted by state health officials who said after weeks of investigating, they found the hospital near Danville failed on multiple levels to provide sanitary conditions to its most vulnerable patients, premature infants in its NICU.

This report comes after Geisinger officials admitted last October that 8 newborns had become infected by bacteria found in the NICU’s donor breast milk.

Three of those babies died.

Among the victims, Abel Cepeda, who died on September 30th.

“Our state government has concluded that Geisinger Health System had systemic and repeated failures to follow the most basic infection control practices,” said attorney Matt Casey, who has filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of Cepeda and another infant against Geisinger.

“They never told these families I represent that they were aware of a death in that NCIU in July of 2019,” said Casey. “All the while, they were flagrantly violating the most basic standards as it pertains to infection control, and as a result, three children are dead.”

Among the state's findings, Geisinger's NICU:

  • Failed to clean, sanitize, and routinely check equipment used to prepare and store donor breast milk.
  • Failed to maintain sanitary conditions as evidenced by "storage of linens directly on the floor” and "storage of clean patient equipment without protective coverings in the hallway."
  • Failed to "check donor breast milk for bacterial contamination.”

“This was conscience and reckless disregard of the most basic safety standards that were designed to help their most vulnerable patients,” said Casey. “They did it intentionally.”

In a new statement issued by Geisinger Medical Center, it said it was cited on October 18th for not having a written policy for cleaning equipment used to measure donor breast milk.

These citations were addressed immediately that day, and it is following a state-approved plan for corrective action.