February 11, 2008

Dutch military battling Acinetobacter baumannii

RNW Press Review – 25 January 2008 - by David Doherty

The Dutch army found itself battling a new enemy yesterday in the east of the Netherlands. "Soldiers in action against resistant bacteria" is the headline in AD, which features a front-page photo of servicemen and women in full camouflage gear setting up an emergency intensive care facility in a hospital car park in the province of Twente.

Two intensive care patients at the hospital were found to be infected with the rare Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria, which - like the more common hospital bug MSRA - is resistant to most antibiotics. The two are now in isolation and a sign reading "do not enter unless absolutely necessary" has been slapped on the rest of the ward.

The 14 patients currently on the ward will stay put. "We can only start disinfecting when the last patient has been discharged ... which could take up to three months depending on their condition," explained a hospital spokesman.

New intensive care patients will go to the military containers in the car park. AD reports that "there is a similar intensive care unit at the Dutch military camp in Afghanistan". "So we've got the experience to get everything set up quickly," adds one of the soldiers with a wink.


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