Fifth UPMC patient with mold infection dies

A kidney transplant patient who contracted a fungal infection while at UPMC Montefiore in Pittsburgh has died, becoming the fifth UPMC transplant patient with a fungal infection to die since 2014, according to the Tribune-Review.

Daniel Krieg died Saturday in the hospital, and an autopsy has yet to be finalized. UPMC officials have acknowledged Mr. Krieg had a fungal infection, but maintain his death can be attributed to pneumonia, not the infection.

His attorneys and family assert the mold infection led to his death. "What I do know is that my uncle was diagnosed with a rhizopus mold infection that required surgery to have a left lobe of his lungs removed," Jesse Kreig, the patient's nephew, told the Tribune-Review. "I don't know how UPMC can give a definitive cause of death. There was a serious mold infection in that left lung."

Mr. Kreig underwent a kidney transplant surgery in July 2015, and then returned to the hospital in March, when he was placed in a room with negative pressure capabilities. Such rooms were linked to prior mold infections at UPMC, the CDC found in an investigation into the mold outbreak published in May. The hospital acknowledged that Mr. Kreig was in a negative-pressure room, but told the Tribune-Review the system was not active while the patient was there.

According to the Tribune-Review, UPMC spokeswoman Allison Hydzik said, "We are deeply saddened by the loss of Mr. Krieg. His death was not directly related to the fungal infection, but rather can be attributed to pneumonia. Our partners at the state and federal level have been notified, and we continue to work with them to better understand and learn from the course of Mr. Krieg's illness. Our thoughts and sympathies go to his family, and our doctors and nurses who cared for him over the past several months."

 

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