Infant who contracted Aspergillus mold infection at Seattle’s Children’s hospital dies

Infant who contracted Aspergillus mold infection at Seattle’s Children’s hospital dies

Infant who contracted Aspergillus mold infection at Seattle’s Children’s hospital dies

A 6-month-old baby died on Wednesday from an Aspergillus mold infection she contracted at Seattle Children's hospital while undergoing three separate open-heart surgeries. "I can not begin to express the gratitude we have for the team that worked through the night to make sure Beth's transition was as painless and smooth as possible", the family wrote.

Beth was born in August with a heart condition and was rushed from Tacoma General Hospital to Seattle Children's, where she had three surgeries, beginning when she was 5 days old.

Last year, the hospital confirmed that six patients who developed the same Aspergillus infection have died and several others have been sickened since 2001.

According to the Centre for Disease Control, Aspergillosis is an infection caused by Aspergillus, a common mould (a type of fungus) that lives indoors and outdoors. "Most people breathe in Aspergillus spores every day without getting sick", the CDC notes. "We are also investigating two new potential Aspergillus surgical site infections". According to the hospital, the mold is in the air-handling units in their operating rooms. "Simply put, we failed".

On Nov. 14, Seattle Children's said it would keep 10 operating rooms and two storage rooms closed until the end of January to install new filtration systems amid ongoing mold problems.

Three operating rooms had new HEPA filters installed and have reopened for use as of February 5, KOMO reported.

In a statement to KOMO, the hospital said: "Losing a child is incredibly devastating for everyone whose lives were touched by that child".

"We went into this situation believing that an issue had been found and it was fixed", Ms Hutt said.

Elizabeth's death Wednesday comes weeks after the family joined a class-action lawsuit filed against the hospital in behalf of the families of patients who have been sickened from the mold.

"We're looking at maintenance of premise and we're looking at management decisions. And what happened here - that even the doctors and nurses weren't aware of", Karen Koehler, of the SKKM Law Office said in a press conference at the time "So this action is really targeted against the management - the building and engineering department of Seattle Children's - about a systemic cover-up that's existed now for nearly 19 years".

Those who died of the infection were transplant patients.

Lawyers have since sought to add Beth to the case. "We will post when we've had the chance to make plans for celebrating our fearless, courageous, handsome warrior".

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