Seattle Children's closes ORs after another mold discovery

Seattle Children's Hospital has closed some of its operating rooms after again detecting mold, detailed in a May 12 self-report to the state Department of Health, according to The Seattle Times.

There are no known infections connected to the newest mold discovery. The problem was described as "low-levels" of Aspergillus attributed to a ventilation system issue, according to health department spokesperson Jessica Baggett. The department has not decided if it will launch an investigation yet, Ms. Baggett said.

In contrast, Seattle Children's did not identify the new mold as Aspergillus, the hospital said May 18, according to The Seattle Times. The mold was found in some of the hospital's ORs and an equipment storage room.

"Daily testing has not detected any Aspergillus fumigatus spores, which is the species of Aspergillus associated with our previously confirmed" infections, hospital spokesperson Katherine Porada wrote in an email to The Seattle Times.

Multiple operating rooms will be closed for several weeks for evaluation, which will include input from engineering experts, Ms. Porada said.

Since 2005, Seattle Children's Hospital has faced sporadic mold outbreaks, with seven patient deaths tied to mold infections at the facility. Most recently, the parents of a hospitalized infant filed a lawsuit against the hospital April 14, claiming negligence after their son's heart was infected with mold at the hospital, according to The Seattle Times. During the past year, the hospital has installed a new air-handling unit and put high-efficiency particulate air filters in its 14 operating rooms.

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