A newborn baby has died from Legionnaires’ disease just a few weeks after being born in a heated birthing pool at his home.
The tragic death highlights the need for pregnant women to understand the risks of water births — and for standardisation of cleaning procedures in some midwife facilities.
The death, in Texas in the US, occurred when the baby was infected with Legionella bacteria found in the birthing pool where he was born, a new report by the Texas Department of State Health Services has found.
While the little boy appeared healthy immediately after his January 2014 birth, he’d developed diarrhoea, cyanosis and respiratory failure by the time he was admitted to hospital at six days old, according to a report in medical journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The little boy was placed on a machine to help him breathe, but died 19 days after his birth, CBS News reports.
Emerging Infectious Diseases reports that a midwifery centre had filled the jetted birthing pool with well water and added ‘purifying’ spa drops to the water — but they did not contain chlorine, and the water hadn’t been disinfected before use.