Seattle Children’s hospital revealed Tuesday that one patient has died and five others have been infected by a potentially dangerous mold that has forced the medical center to indefinitely close all of its main operating rooms.
The revelation shows the problem at the prestigious hospital was more extensive than officials there had previously acknowledged publicly.
The hospital disclosed the infections and death to The Seattle Times in response to follow-up questions regarding the closures of four operating rooms on its main Seattle campus May 18 because of Aspergillus mold and of the remaining 10 operating rooms May 24.
The hospital says operating rooms have been infested by mold — off and on — for about a year likely because of deficiencies in the operating rooms’ air handling and purification systems.
Three patients were infected last year and three this year, Children’s public-relations manager Alyse Bernal wrote in an email. The patient who died developed the infection in 2018.
“The six patients who developed Aspergillus infections were at higher risk of infection due to the types of procedures they had,” Bernal said. “We are deeply saddened that one of these patients died.”