PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The federal investigation of how four transplant patients at UPMC hospitals contracted mold infections and then later died is ongoing.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new report and the focus of the investigation was made abundantly clear.
Investigators have yet to determine the source of the mold outbreak. However, the CDC’s latest report shows an emphasis on negative pressure rooms and how unnecessary placement of patients in those rooms could cause harm and should be avoided.
Those rooms are designed to draw air into the room from the outside for patients who already have a potentially airborne contagious disease.
According to the report, three of the four patients with deadly mold infections were in the same room at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. It was a negative pressure room in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit.
“Room A was the only negative pressure isolation room in the CTICU and was adjacent to a door leading to a carpeted hallway and family room. Frequent use of this door by personnel and visitors might have disturbed the airflow, allowing dust and mold spores, if present, to enter the room. None of the patients had a clinical indication requiring negative-pressure isolation,” the report said.
The fourth person who died contracted the infection at UPMC Montefiore.
Che Duvall was the fourth and final person to pass away because of the mold outbreak.
Che Duvall initially went to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in August 2015 to receive a double lung transplant. A month later, he was diagnosed with the infection and received treatment until February, when he died.
Before his death, he and his family filed a lawsuit against UPMC alleging medical negligence.
In the report, officials detailed multiple construction projects near UPMC Presbyterian and Montefiore hospitals. The CDC noted that past outbreaks were associated with hospital construction projects.
Meanwhile, changes have been made including, a renovation of the CTICU and change in the anti-fungal medication that transplant patients receive.