Mold Case Against Seattle Hospital Advances

Public health documents relate to Aspergillus mold infections at Seattle Children’s hospital

By Dan Hounsell
May 7, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for healthy and efficient HVAC systems in creating healthy indoor environments. A legal tangle involving a Seattle hospital also offers managers a sobering reminder that efficient HVAC components and operations are closely tied to occupant health.

A Washington state appeals court has upheld a lower court order requiring public health departments to release documents related to Aspergillus mold infections at Seattle Children’s hospital, according to KING. The decision appears to have ended the hospital’s year-and-a-half-long legal campaign to block the release of mold-related records.

The public health records were requested beginning in 2019 after Seattle Children’s closed its operating rooms and admitted publicly that it had an ongoing problem with Aspergillus mold infecting patients in its operating rooms.

Ultimately, hospital administrators admitted that seven young patients died from Aspergillus mold acquired in operating rooms at the hospital. The hospital said it finally connected the mold infections to problems in the ventilation systems that serve the operating rooms and has since added advanced HEPA filtration systems to every operating room.

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