November 9, 2018
Fifty-two recent patients at the Arkansas Cancer Institute have tested positive for an unknown bacteria, according to an article on the Arkansas Online website.
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Three cancer patients who tested positive for the infection have died. It's unknown if their deaths were actually caused by the bacteria, the Arkansas Department of Health said.
More than 100 other patients that were thought to be at risk have been screened. The outbreak was discovered among people who have ports — implanted devices that that aid in the administration of medication drawing of blood. The issue was traced to a saline flush process for ports that had been used for 27 years. The facility has since discontinued the practice.
Early tests of the bacteria have not shown it to be easily passed from person to person, according to the treatment facility. Many of the patients have had their ports removed, and those people who tested positive for the bacteria will undergo a two-week course of antibiotics.