Mold forces Seattle Children's to close operating rooms

Seattle Children's Hospital is postponing or diverting surgeries after detecting mold in its operating rooms, reports KIRO 7.

Tests revealed the presence of Aspergillus in several ORs and equipment storage rooms at the hospital's main campus last weekend. Seattle Children's closed these rooms out of an abundance of caution and is working with an outside industrial hygienist to investigate and address the source of the mold, according to Mark Del Beccaro, MD, CMO of Seattle Children's.

The hospital notified 3,000 patients about the mold and has postponed up to 50 surgeries daily. Other surgical cases are being diverted to Seattle Children's campus in Bellevue, Wash. 

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.

"We want most people to know that the risk is incredibly small for the overwhelming majority of patients," Dr. Del Beccaro told KIRO 7. "Even … for patients that are at a high-risk category … the risk is low."

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