Another infant suspected of haemolytic-uremic syndrome was transferred on Thursday from the Campulung Muscel Municipal Hospital to the Marie Curie Hospital of Bucharest where three babies died over the past weeks of the same causes.
Officials of the Pitesti Paediatrics Hospital, who were informed about the new case, say it concerns an infant less than one year old from Poienarii de Muscel. He was checked in at the Campulung Muscel Municipal Hospital, where he tested positive for the haemolytic-uremic syndrome.
Health Minister Patriciu Achimas-Cadariu visited on Thursday morning the Marie Curie hospital in Bucharest in order to check on the condition of the infant patients suffering from haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
The hospital in Bucharest has admitted this month 16 children eventually diagnosed with the syndrome, all transferred from Arges County, where more than 40 milder cases showing the same symptoms were treated in hospitals. Doctors associated HUS with a toxin, presumably of bacterial origin, but failed to identify the pathogen.
Doctors at the Paediatric Hospital in Pitesti, Arges County, became aware of the condition of the child admitted on Wednesday in Bucharest as early as February 13, the Health Ministry informed Agerpres on Wednesday night.
Minister Achimas-Cadariu demanded on Wednesday the resignation or dismissal of the management of this hospital by the County Council, for failing to report the case to the Arges Public Health Directorate (DSP). He had already visited the Marie Curie Hospital soon after the latest child patient was transferred from Pitesti.
Head of Arges County Public Health Directorate refuses to resign over child HUS crisis
Dr. Sorina Hontaru, head of the Arges County Public Health Directorate (DSP), announced on Thursday that she refuses to resign following the prefect’s request, in the ongoing crisis of child haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) cases. Dr. Hontaru said she was appointed by the Health Ministry, which can replace her if there are sound reasons.
On Thursday morning, Arges County Prefect (Government’s representative) Cristian Soare asked the DSP head to step down. Hours later, another child HUS case was reported in the county.
Dr. Vasile Stan, manager of the Paediatric Hospital of Pitesti, had already refused to resign on Thursday, even after the health minister asked him to.
“I was appointed manager here to take care of this unit. I’m telling you with full responsibility, this hospital is not at fault. Secondly, everybody calls asking whether I resign. I never will; I want to be dismissed and see the arguments for my dismissal,” Dr. Stan declared in a press conference.
Arges County has sent so far 16 children with HUS symptoms to the Marie Curie Hospital in Bucharest; the last one on Wednesday. Three of the infant patients died. More than 40 milder cases were treated in local hospitals.
On Wednesday night, the Health Ministry asserted that doctors at the Paediatric Hospital in Pitesti became aware as early as February 13 of the condition of the child admitted earlier at Marie Curie. Health Minister Patriciu Achimas-Cadariu visited the Bucharest paediatric hospital on Wednesday and Thursday. He asked for the resignation or dismissal of the management of the hospital in Pitesti by the County Council.
Arges County Council Chairman Florin Tecau said on Thursday he is not authorized to dismiss hospital managers; according to him, only hospital boards can make such decisions.
PM Ciolos asked whether he demanded HealthMin Cadariu to resign: I asked him to take measures
Upon leaving an activity report meeting of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) on Thursday, Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos said that he asked Health Minister, Patriciu Achimas-Cadariu “to take measures first of all in the case of the infants diagnosed with the haemolytic-uremic syndrome.”
Asked whether he demanded the minister to resign, Ciolos said, “I asked him to take measures first of all. I believe the problem must be solved.”
Health Minister confirms: E-coli was the cause of death
Health Minister Patriciu Achimas Cadariu announced on Thursday what bacterium caused children from Arges County and other counties to be hospitalized with severe kidney problems, killing three of them. Cadariu said at a press conference that the bacterium concerned is a strain of E-coli.
“After meeting the specialists from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, we can tell you that the cause of the illness has been identified, namely the Escherichia Coli bacterium,” Cadariu said.
Mihaela Balgradean, the head of Marie Curie Hospital’s nephrology ward, also confirmed the information. According to her, verotoxin, which indicates the presence of this bacterium, was identified in stool samples taken from the babies. Nevertheless, the source of the bacteria remains unknown.