Some Kentucky patients have essentially no immune system, making a simple cold a potential death sentence Many medical facilities offer specialized units and rooms to admit and protect immunosuppressed patients from other infections and bacteria introduced into the facility by other patients. These units usually have strict policies on visitation, food and flowers that may be brought in, hand washing and specialized ventilation systems. Despite strict policies, one hospital and a linen company is facing a medical malpractice lawsuit regarding a fungus that was likely introduced by moldy bed linens to the special unit, resulting in multiple deaths of immunosuppressed patients.
A female patient in another state was admitted to a specialized transplant unit for immunosuppresed patients for treatment of her leukemia. While she was in the unit, she became sick and a fungus was discovered to be the culprit. Surgeries and treatment were attempted to remove the fungus, but the patient did not survive.
Later, the transplant unit was closed when three immunosuppressed patient deaths occurred. Due to evidence that mold may have been the culprit, the Centers for Disease Control investigated and found mold within the specialized ventilation system. A link was made that the mold may have been introduced to the unit from the company that supplied bed linens to the facility. Both the medical facility and the bed linen company have been named as defendants in the lawsuit, and the patient is the seventh patient discovered by the investigation that may have died as a result of the mold.
A diagnosis of cancer or its reoccurrence is terrifying. The patient’s surviving family was surely devastated to learn it was not the disease that killed her but, instead, fungus likely introduced by bed linens. She and her family likely incurred excess and unexpected medical bills for the unexpected treatment and surgeries of the fungus. If either the medical facility or the bed linen company is determined to have been negligent in handling the linens, a monetary award may be granted to victims and surviving family members. Kentucky medical malpractice lawyers can advise families and patients in similar circumstances of their options for legal recourse.
Source: wpxi.com, “Lawsuit links 7th patient death to mold at UPMC“, Aaron Martin, April 20, 2017