Main operating rooms at Seattle Children’s reopen after Aspergillus invasion

July 9, 2019

Seattle Children’s reopened all 14 of its main operating rooms (ORs) after investigations and remedial actions were taken to address Aspergillis mold. Three patients developed surgical site infections from Aspergillus mold in 2018, including a patient who died, reported K5News. Three other patients developed infections this year, all of whom the hospital said “were at higher risk of infection due to the types of procedures they had.

Seattle Children’s, in a public statement, said that “closing all the operating rooms allowed us to physically access the air handling system in order to implement improvements and corrective actions.” The organization said it detected and self-reported problems to the Department of Health which then visited for three days during which time it identified several areas in need of improvement before the ORs could function again safely.

Seattle Children’s says it has implemented multiple improvements recommended by outside experts, including:

·   Removing its previous air handling and purification system and switching to a newer air handler, which has been upgraded, cleaned, sanitized and tested to verify proper performance

·   Installing and testing a new humidification system

·   Sealing potential sources of air leaks in all of the operating rooms

·   Extensively and repeatedly deep cleaning all of operating rooms and core rooms

·   Adding a new device to its operating room cleaning protocol that emits ultraviolet light to disinfect surfaces

“Following implementation of these improvements and corrective actions, we conducted extensive air testing to validate that our interventions have been and will continue to be effective,” the hospital said. “Air tests results confirm our interventions have been effective and that it is safe to re-open our operating rooms. We are taking a thoughtful and systematic approach to resuming operations in our main operating rooms, which will begin tomorrow. We are deeply sorry for the concerns this has caused our patients and families.”

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