Thirteen children were injected with unsterilised syringes during surgeries at Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

The clean but unsterilised syringes had all been used to inject antibiotics into shunts during cerebrospinal surgeries over the past year, and they had been delivered to the operating theatre filled with sterile antibiotics but not sterilised themselves, SA Health said in a statement, reports 9 NEWS.

The patients range from infants to 18-year-olds,  all receiving critical medical treatment to relieve fluid on the brain.

“The risk of infection arising from this isolated incident is considered to be extremely low, and highly unlikely to lead to any long-term health impact,” the statement read.

The practice of injecting the antibiotics had been introduced at the hospital in 2013, and “was based upon international evidence that showed a reduction in the risk of infection in children undergoing cerebrospinal surgery”, SA Health said.

Families of children who undergo the surgery are told to be vigilant about infection warning signs such as headache, vomiting and fatigue.

The hospital will continue to monitor the affected children for infection, SA Health said.

Share your comments below.

Image via Shuttertock

  • Hope they are all well and don’t get any infections.


  • A grave dereliction of duty.


  • This is terrible. I hope no one was affected negatively


  • This is so worrying!


  • I hope there are no infections as a result of this.


  • OMG I have relatives with very young children who would be taken to WCH. I child would have an ongoing headache until they have completely healed anyway. It would possibly be too late by the time the infection was diagnosed.
    They had better be ready to be sued.


  • This is shocking and truely unacceptable. How could the hospital get something like this so wrong. I hope they are a lot more vigilant about infection control.


  • That’s absolutely disgusting. Certainly someone not following ohs procedures


  • I just can’t believe this has happened. I hope none of the kids suffer any long term affects from this


  • Wishing the children good luck and l don’t see how this was possible by professionals.


  • Oh my! I hope none of those kids will get an infection!


  • As a parent I would be fuming. Sterilisation is health care 101. How it was overlooked is a major health industry risk. If it was overlooked in those cases, who is to say it is not a more widespread issue?


  • I really hope none of the children develop any serious infections as a result of the sterilized needles.


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