7th mold-related death at Seattle Children's reported

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A 6-month-old baby at Seattle Children's Hospital died Feb. 12 after she developed a mold-related infection acquired at the hospital, according to KOMO News. 

Elizabeth Hutt was born with a heart condition and developed an Aspergillus mold infection after undergoing three heart surgeries at the hospital. The mold was detected Nov. 10, 2019, in the facility's operating rooms, around the time of the infant's third surgery.  

After the surgeries, Elizabeth struggled to recover because of the infection, Beth's mother told KOMO News in January. 

Elizabeth's family joined a class-action lawsuit against Seattle Children's hospital in January, KIRO 7 reported at the time. The suit was filed Dec. 2 on behalf of children sickened by the hospital mold and claims Seattle Children's "engaged in years of cover-up designed to reassure its patients, doctors, nurses and the public that its premises were safe, when in fact they were not."

To date, seven patients have died at Seattle Children's Hospital from mold-related infections since 2001. The system that circulates air through the hospital's operating rooms is thought to be the cause of the infections, Jeff Sperring, MD, Seattle Children's CEO, announced Nov. 18. The hospital was scheduled to install custom in-room high-efficiency particulate air filters in 10 operating rooms and two equipment storage rooms by the end of January.  

Seattle Children's administrators consulted public health agencies when mold was detected, but the agencies did not have the authority to lead investigations, according to KING 5. Initially slow to respond, the agencies eventually escalated their response to the series of mold infections at the hospital.

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