Mold at children's hospital killed 1, sickened 5

Seattle Children’s Hospital closed several operating rooms and is contacting the families of about 3,000 children who’ve had recent procedures after a common type of mold was detected over the weekend officials said

Seattle Children’s Hospital closed several operating rooms and is contacting the families of about 3,000 children who’ve had recent procedures after a common type of mold was detected over the weekend officials said

On May 24, the hospital contacted patients and families who had surgery on the main campus in the previous four months to alert them of possible exposure to Aspergillus and of the symptoms. Bernal said the additional closures were needed so crews could access and fix the hospital's air system.

"We are deeply saddened that one of our patients died after developing an Aspergillus infection in 2018", a statement from Bernal to Q13 News reads. The death occurred previous year.

Those who died of the infection were operation patients. "The infections we had were in very specific types of procedures, but out of the caution that we have to make sure everybody is safe, we've closed everything".

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Aspergillus is a common mold found both indoors and outdoors. But people with lung disease or weakened immune systems, and especially organ or stem-cell-transplant patients, are at higher risk of developing aspergillosis, a disease caused by the mold.

Seattle Children's has also been dealing with a case of measles.

An investigation by the hospital conducted in May found gaps in the hospital's air-filtration system, Bernal told the Times, which may have caused the air quality issue and resulting six infections. The remaining 10 were closed six days later. "Seattle Children's is committed to maintaining a safe environment for our patients, and we will reopen our operating rooms when we are confident they are safe for patient care". Details about the patient and the case have not been shared for the goal of privacy.

Other surgeries have been moved to the cardiac catheterization facility on the hospital's main campus in Seattle and its Bellevue campus. Swedish said it is still working to determine how many surgeries it can take on.

The hospital said the person who died and two others were infected in 2018 by Aspergillus fumigata.

Mold infections in hospitals have had fatal consequences before.

The Seattle Times first reported the death. The CDC issued no report after it determined Children's was taking appropriate actions to investigate and address the problem, Apa said.

But the hospital was struck again by mold again this spring.

Officials said the operating rooms were most likely infected by the mold for roughly a year due to deficiencies in the rooms' air purification systems.

State and federal government groups scrutinizing the children's hospital in the wake of the new infections have presented the hospital with their concerns.

Children's Hospital has already received a letter from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) saying that the hospital is out of compliance.

"We believe that the work plan we've submitted and the work we'll do. will allow them to say we're in compliance", he said.

CMS said it is still reviewing the hospital's submitted plan to correct the issues.

Del Beccaro said the hospital is not anxious about repercussions from CMS, though.

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