5 hospitals facing mold issues this year

Numerous hospitals have detected molds in their facilities over the past year, capturing the attention of readers. 

Below are five hospitals that faced mold issues:

This list is not exhaustive.

1. Staten Island University Hospital in New York City 

A mold-related odor sickened 53 employees on the maternity floor at Staten Island University Hospital in December 2018, NBC 4 New York reported. The hospital moved all newborns to a backup nursery, according to a Dec. 31 hospital statement. An investigation found moderate levels of mold in the air and a water-borne mold behind a sink wall. Numerous independent environmental tests found no risk to patients.

2. Petaluma (Calif.) Valley Hospital 

The hospital shut down its labor and delivery unit after discovering mold July 18 in a nutrition room, and later, in other areas of the hospital, Tyler Hedden, the hospital's interim chief executive, told Becker's Hospital Review. The mold in the nutrition room was caused by an ice machine not draining properly. No illnesses associated with the mold were identified.

3. Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center

In late September, mold was discovered in a surgical equipment sterilization room, forcing the 600-bed public hospital to suspend all elective surgeries and other medical procedures for about two weeks, according to the Los Angeles Times. No patients were infected or harmed.

4. Seattle Children's Hospital

Seattle Children's postponed and diverted surgeries in May after detecting Aspergillus mold in its operating rooms, The Seattle Times reported. Mold was found again Nov. 10, sickening one patient, with other potential cases still under investigation. The system that circulates air to the hospital's operating rooms is thought to be the cause of 14 mold infections and six deaths dating back to 2001, Jeff Sperring, MD, Seattle Children's CEO, announced Nov. 18. Numerous lawsuits related to the mold have been filed against the hospital, including a suit filed Dec. 2 seeking class-action status to eventually include all Seattle Children's patients sickened by the mold since 2000.  

5. Children's Medical Center Dallas

In early December, the Texas hospital moved 28 cardiac intensive care patients and relocated surgeries to other areas of its facility after air testing revealed higher-than-normal levels of Aspergillus and Penicillium molds, according to CNN. No patients were sickened by the mold. 

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