Safety

Mold found in Seattle Hospital ORs leads to one death, five infections

Hospital Safety Insider, July 11, 2019

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Seattle Children’s hospital said this week one patient died and five others have been infected by mold that forced the closure of all of the facility’s main operating rooms, according to the Seattle Times.

The hospital revealed the information to the Times in its response to questions about the closures of four ORs on its main campus on May 18 because of the presence of Aspergillus mold and the remaining 10 ORs on May 24.

Seattle Children’s says the ORs have been infested by mold at different points in the past year, possibly due to problems with the ORs’ air handling and purification systems, the Times reports. Three patients were infected last year and three in 2019, a hospital spokesperson told the paper. The patient who died developed the infection in 2018.

The Times reports that CMS sent a letter on June 20 informing the hospital that it was out of compliance because of the OR mold problem, adding that CMS will terminate Seattle Children’s Medicare provider agreement on September 19.

About 1,000 surgeries have been postponed, with other surgeries moved to the cardiac catheterization facility on the hospital’s main campus in Seattle and its Bellevue campus. Most surgeries have been moved to other hospitals in the Seattle area.

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