As hospitals nationwide struggle with the ongoing demands created by the COVID-19 pandemic, one Seattle hospital is fighting a separate, legal battle that involves the operation of its HVAC system.
Fifteen more patients have joined a class-action lawsuit against Seattle Children’s hospital alleging they were exposed. to Aspergillus mold, according to KING5. Since 2001, at least 14 young Seattle Children’s patients have been infected by Aspergillus mold, which is a common mold that can be problematic for people with weakened immune systems. Seven patients have died.
The complaint alleges that between 2000 and 2019, Seattle Children’s didn’t alert patients, doctors or the public that problems existed with its air handling system. It claims that even when patients got sick from Aspergillus, the hospital “concealed its culpability.”
Dangerous levels of mold forced the hospital to temporarily close its operating rooms in May 2019, and the hospital closed its main operating rooms again in November 2019 after mold was detected a second time. Routine air tests detected more mold in the hospitals operating rooms and an equipment storage room in May 2020.