Stock photo of hospital beds.
Photo: Silas Camargo Silão / Pixabay.com
Photo: Silas Camargo Silão / Pixabay.com

Patient infected by mold that closed Seattle Children's Hospital operating rooms dies

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The hospital said Tuesday the patient died after developing an Aspergillus infection in 2018. 

Seattle Children’s Hospital closed all its main operating rooms due to a mold called Aspergillus, hospital spokeswoman Kathryn Mueller said.

The fungus can cause infections and was discovered in several operating and equipment storage rooms in mid-May.

>> On KIRO7.com: Seattle Children’s Hospital operating rooms shut down after fungus discovery

Four of the operating rooms originally tested positive for the common mold, but all 14 rooms were closed.

The hospital is in the process of making additional improvements to mitigate the issues.

Officials with the hospital also contacted the Washington State Department of Health, and investigators with that department identified the areas that needed improvement.

Seattle Children's released this statement to KIRO-TV on Tuesday evening:

"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. We are very sorry for the impact the air quality issue in our operating rooms has had on our patients and families, and we are taking this situation very seriously.

"We have worked collaboratively with outside industrial hygienists to conduct extensive assessments of our operating rooms and air handling and purification systems. Through these assessments, we identified deficiencies in our air handlers, including gaps in the air filtration system that we believe to be key contributing factors to the air quality issue. We have implemented several improvements and corrective actions recommended by outside experts over the past few weeks."

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