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Seattle Children's closing all main operating rooms after more mold detected

One patient has died and six others have been sickened by mold at Seattle Children's since 2018. An 8th potential case is also being investigated.

SEATTLE — Seattle Children's will close all of its operating rooms Wednesday after officials announced mold was detected in three operating rooms and two procedural rooms. 

The hospital expects the operating rooms will be closed for at least five days.

Seattle Children's confirmed another patient became sick after more mold was detected in the hospital. An additional patient is also being examined for a potential surgical site infection. 

This comes after dangerous levels of mold closed operating rooms over the summer. 

The closure will allow Seattle Children's to inspect and clean the air handling system. All main operating rooms and core rooms will be cleaned as well, according to the hospital. 

Since 2018, one patient has died and now six others have been infected by Aspergillus mold found in the hospital. 

RELATED: What is Aspergillus? Mold behind Seattle Children's closures explained

“This fungus can kill you.  It’s already killed and it makes me worried,” said Veronica Hernandez, whose son is scheduled for reconstructive surgery at the hospital.

“Where could it be coming from?  The OR (operating room) is supposed to be a sterile environment,” said Hernandez.

Her 13-year-old son, Tyrese, had brain surgery for bacterial meningitis in May.  Two days after his surgery the hospital told the public that it had been battling a persistent Aspergillus mold problem in some of its operating rooms.

The families of three thousand patients were notified that their children were at slight risk of infection.

“It made me worry even more because he was already fighting for his life.  His survival rate was already low,” Hernandez said.

"We have established alternate surgical sites in the hospital where we can perform emergent surgeries while the main operating rooms are closed. Non-emergent surgical cases may be postponed or diverted to other local hospitals," the hospital said in a release. 

Children's says if patients and families have questions, they should contact the Patient and Family Relations team at 206-987-2550 or family.feedback@seattlechildrens.org.

The KING 5 Investigators requested records from the state and county health departments soon after the hospital reported in July that one child died and five other patients were infected.

Last month, Children’s hospital sued KING 5 and King County Public Health to block the release of 15 pages of redacted records.

RELATED: Whistleblower alleged Seattle Children’s had mold problem before 2018 death

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