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A sixth death has been liked to mold outbreak at Pittsburgh hospital

A third wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in connection with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s mold outbreak.

The most recent death occurred in the wake of five previous deaths that have been linked to heavy mold growth in the linens at two University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospitals. The most recently filed wrongful death lawsuit claims that a third UPMC hospital, Shadyside Hospital, is linked to the mold outbreak. Paris Companies was contracted by the hospital system to provide the linens at all three hospitals.

A previous internal report that was released by UPMC stated that the five deaths were connected to an outbreak of mold in the linens that Paris Companies delivered to Presbyterian and Montefiore hospitals. The report did not become public knowledge until it was submitted as evidence by lawyers for UPMC in two wrongful death lawsuits that were previously filed against the hospital system.

John Haines, 65, was the most recent patient to perish after he contracted rhizopus-positive pneumonia, as per his death certificate, which was issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Haines, who was diagnosed with leukemia, was receiving chemotherapy treatment at Shadyside Hospital. He was moved into the intensive care unit just three days before he perished. Just 24 hours after being moved to the ICU, be contracted a fungal infection, medical records state.

Shadyside Hospital personnel sent Haines a letter, which was received the same day that he died. The letter acknowledged that he had developed an infection while he was being treated at the hospital. The letter, which was written by a patient safety officer, said that the hospital suggested Haines contact UPMC’s Infection Prevention and Control Department.

The civil complaint, which was filed with the Allegheny County Court of Commons Pleas, claims that Haines contracted the infection that ultimately killed him after he came into contact with the linens that Paris Companies delivered to the intensive care unit.

Haines passed away five months after officials for UPMC were alerted about an outbreak in their hospitals after they contracted an independent researcher to test the hospitals where five other patients perished as a result of similar infections. Andrew Streifel, the hospital’s environmental specialist, found widespread mold growth at the Paris Companies laundry facility.

Paris Companies maintains that their linens were not the cause of the mold outbreak in the hospital system.

“Paris Companies consistently meets or exceeds accreditation standards and regulatory guidelines for laundering linens, which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to quality and safety. We continue to cooperate with all regulatory agencies involved in the oversite of linen processing,” Dave Stern, the CEO for Paris Companies, said in a statement.

In the civil complaint, a second alleged mold-related death at Shadyside Hospital was cited.

Mold Inspection & Testing Pittsburgh has years of experience performing mold assessments in medical facilities throughout the city. We strongly suggest UPMC tests all of the hospitals within their system for mold on a regular basis. To speak with an MI&T representative, call 412.444.5374.

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