Mold Closes Hospital Operating Rooms
Fungus found second time this year at Seattle Children’s Hospital
Maintenance officials at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Seattle are inspecting the facility’s ventilation system after the hospital’s operating rooms were closed for the second time this year due to mold, CNN reports.
Routine air tests conducted on Sunday found the fungus Aspergillus in three operating rooms and two procedural areas, according to Infection Control Today. Hospital officials closed 11 operating rooms immediately, then closed all 14 later in the week. So far, the fungus has infected at least one patient. Maintenance officials believe deficiencies in the hospital’s ventilation and purification systems have led to the development and spread of the fungus.
Last May the hospital closed all its operating rooms following an Aspergillus outbreak that led to at least five infections and one patient death. The rooms were reopened in July after an outside industrial hygiene company helped clear the rooms of contamination.
Aspergillus is commonly found in the environment and does not sicken most people. However, those with weakened immune systems, damaged lungs, or asthma are more likely to get sick after breathing in the mold. Health problems linked to the fungus include allergic reactions and lung infections.
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