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Cosmetics pose ICU infection risk

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Bacteria living in moisturising body milk could cause life-threatening infections in ICU patients, warn researchers.

Their claims are based on events at a Spanish ICU, where five patients became infected with the bacterium Burkholderia cepacia over a period of 18 days.

B. cepacia was found to be living in three samples of moisturising body milk that had been applied to the patients. After the cream was withdrawn, no new cases of the infection developed.

‘In severely ill patients, the presence of bacteria in cosmetic products, even within accepted limits, may lead to severe life-threatening infections,’ the authors said in the online journal Biomed Central Critical Care.

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