A premature infant born in Pennsylvania last year contracted an extremely rare but very serious infection, Cronobacter sakazakii, after feeding on breast milk from a contaminated pump. The infection led hospital officials, the county health department, and the Center for Disease Control to conduct a thorough investigation of the mother’s breast pumps and collection kits. She was using two separate kits: one that was her personal pump and one that was the property of the hospital. Officials found that the mother had been cleaning her personal pump by soaking it in soapy water for around five hours, rinsing it, and air-drying her pump.
So what went wrong? New guidelines from the CDC that cover every part of the breast pumping process from before use to storage guidelines can give a clue. The mother was right to air-dry her equipment: the CDC says that towel-drying pumps can transmit germs from the towel to the apparatus. However, the mother’s failure to scrub and sanitize it…
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