Report Links Children's Hospital Deaths to Contaminated Linens

Fungal Infection Deaths

Written by Faith Anderson on April 29, 2014
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Report Links Children’s Hospital Deaths to Contaminated Linens

A flesh-eating fungal infection that killed five children from 2008 to 2009 has been attributed to improperly cleaned and handled linens, towels and surgical gowns at a New Orleans hospital.

A new report indicates that improperly cleaned and handled linens may be responsible for the deaths of several children who suffered fatal flesh-eating fungal infections at a New Orleans hospital. Between August 2008 and July 2009, at least five children died at the Children’s Hospital in New Orleans after developing mucormycosis infections – a rare fungal infection of the sinuses, brain or lungs that can be fatal for individuals with weakened immune systems. If you believe you have been harmed because of a medical mistake or hospital error, contact a medical malpractice attorney today for legal help. You may have grounds to file a negligence lawsuit against the doctor or hospital responsible for your care, in order to seek fair and timely reimbursement for your injuries and medical bills.

Tainted Linens Led to Fungal Infection Outbreak

In a recent report published in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that the flesh-eating infections were caused by contaminated linens, towels and surgical gowns, raising questions about what the hospital knew and what it was obligated to do to prevent the outbreak of the deadly fungal infection. “The cases occurred on several different wards throughout the hospital, and hospital linens were the only exposure identified as common to the case-patients,” the report notes. Investigators with the CDC found that the patients were infected with a fungus called Rizopus delemar, which was also found in supposedly clean linens and linen delivery bins used in the hospital and at an off-site laundry facility.

Hospital Failed to Properly Handle Linens

After reviewing hospital emails, patient records and interviews with staff members involved in the outbreak, investigators with the CDC determined that the facility failed to conduct proper infection control procedures in regards to the outbreak. The agency reported that clean and dirty hospital linens were transported in the same laundry bins and were sent through the same loading dock used for medical waste. On April 10, 2014, the Children’s Hospital in New Orleans held a press conference providing families with long-awaited information about the fungal outbreak, which occurred almost five years ago. In light of these findings, serious concerns are being raised about the hospital’s failure to properly clean and handle linens, and why it took so long to determine what killed the children.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or a serious illness allegedly caused by the improper actions of a medical professional or hospital, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers harmed because of medical negligence, and can help put you in touch with a qualified attorney who has experience handling medical malpractice claims.

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Source: http://journals.lww.com/pidj/Abstract/2014/05000/Mucormycosis_Outbreak_Associated_With_Hospital.9.aspx[/box]

Posted Under: Hospital Mistakes, Medical Malpractice, News, United States
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