The Seattle Children's Hospital has reopened 14 of its operating rooms after having died a patient and five others developed a mold infection after surgical procedures during the last two years.
The hospital closed the operating theaters in May after performing routine tests that detected aspergillus in several ORs and in equipment storage areas. The closure caused approximately 1,000 interventions to be relocated to other hospitals, according to NBC King5 News in Seattle.
The operating rooms reopened Thursday after the hospital cleaned the rooms, improved its treatment and purification system and installed a new humidification system.
"We want to reiterate the regret that we have the impact that this problem of air quality has had on our patients and families and that we are doing everything possible to maintain a safe environment for our patients," Dr. Mark Del Medical Hospital. Beccaro commented at a press conference on Wednesday. "This is our top priority."
Lindsay Kurs, hospital spokesman, said three patients developed surgical aspergillus infections in 2018 and one of them died. Three other patients developed infections this year, Kurs said.
"We are deeply sad that one of these patients has died," he said in a statement. "By respect to the privacy of our patients, we can not share more details."
Aspergillus is a fungus that has spores present in the air, but usually does not cause illness, depending on the aspergillus and aspergillosis website. The fungus can cause illness in people who have debilitated the immune system, have damaged the lungs or have allergies.
Kurs said that the risk that other patients develop an infection of the mold "is very low".
The Seattle Children met the first year of Seattle children in the first year of the aspergillus. It was found again on May 18, which caused the hospital to close four operating rooms, according to King5 News.
Mr Beccaro said that the hospital contracted an external company to investigate and alerted the Department of Health on May 20. Another 10 operating rooms were closed on May 24 and, as a precaution, Seattle children sent letters to 3,000 families of patients who had operations and were exposed.
Of the Beccaro he said that the "overwhelming majority of these patients" had little or no risk of exposing themselves to aspergillus.