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Mold forces Seattle Children's to close 14 operating rooms

Seattle Children's hospital has closed all 14 of its main operating rooms as it works to remove mold detected in its ORs in May, according to The Seattle Times.

Tests revealed traces of Aspergillus mold in several ORs and equipment storage rooms May 18, a hospital spokesperson told The Seattle Times. After the tests revealed the presence of the mold, Seattle Children's initially shut down four operating rooms. It has since closed its other 10 main ORs, according to The Seattle Times.

Aspergillus is a common mold that most people breathe in every day without adverse effects. In rare cases, people with weakened immune systems or lung diseases could develop health issues from the mold spores, according to the CDC. The mold can cause several types of health problems, including lung infections, infections in other organs and allergic reaction.

Although the risk to surgical patients is "very low," Seattle Children's has notified all patients who may have been exposed to the mold, a hospital spokesperson told The Seattle Times.

Seattle Children's has made several changes to address the deficiencies identified when industrial hygienists assessed the hospital's air quality in May. The hospital has switched to an updated and sanitized air handler, implemented a new cleaning process that uses ultraviolet light to disinfect surfaces, installed a new humidification system and sealed potential sources of air leaks in ORs, according to The Seattle Times.

Access the full article from The Seattle Times here.

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