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Study examines patient deaths tied to hospital linens

Accreditation Insider, April 22, 2014

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Five years after an outbreak at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans led to the deaths of five children, a former city health director last week criticized the hospital and state for failing to warn the public when it happened, the New Orleans Advocate reports. The patients were all unrelated and had severe illnesses when they were admitted to different hospital wards in 2008 and 2009, but the common denominator was the hospitals linens that led the children to contract mucormycosis, a flesh-eating fungus infection that eventually killed them.
 
Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified the cause of the infections after the hospital alerted officials of the outbreak in 2009. A still pending malpractice lawsuit was filed by the family of one of the children who died, alleging that the outbreak was the result of contaminated linens provided by a local company. A report published in the May 2014 issue of Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal also said investigators believe the contamination of clean linen occurred at the laundry facility or during delivery after the linen had been washed and dried, according to the Advocate. The report said the hospital’s actions after the outbreak have been effective, with no further cases occurring.
 
Read the article here.



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