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Seattle Children's Hospital Shuts Down Operating Rooms for Second Time This Year Due to Mold Infections

Photo of Jason Muriby

Seattle Children's Hospital shut down all fourteen of its operating rooms earlier this year after Aspergillus mold spores infected six children in its operating rooms, leaving one dead. The hospital re-opened its operating rooms in July, telling the public it was confident the operating rooms were sterile and that the risk to patients was incredibly low. Last week, however, the hospital was once again forced to shut down three of its operating rooms and two procedural areas following new detections of Aspergillus and as the hospital investigates the possibility of two new infections.

Aspergillus (a type of fungus) is the most common type of mold and is found in soil, compost, or any dust in the environment. People breathe it in every day, but it is generally not harmful to those with healthy immune systems. But Aspergillus can be very dangerous to people with weakened immune systems or during surgery where it has direct access to internal tissues, organs, and open surgical wounds.

Hospitals can prevent Aspergillus from infecting patients in the operating room by, among other things, regularly cleaning all surfaces within the operating room; by preventing accumulation of moisture in the walls, tiles, ducts, or any area that could compromise the air integrity of the operating room; by controlling air sources to the operating room; and by using advanced air filtration systems that are kept clean.

If you or someone you know has been injured by the spread of mold or disease at a medical facility, contact the experienced attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 1‑800-594-4884.

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