Patients who stay at hospitals are especially susceptible to infections, which is why staffers in Michigan health care facilities should properly maintain the air and clean off dirty surfaces. Otherwise, harmful substances such as mold can crop up and spread infections. A number of recent incidents at hospitals demonstrate how unchecked or undiscovered mold growth can be a menace to people who stay at hospitals.
The Los Angeles Times has recently reported on a number of incidents where hospitals were afflicted with molds. Mold was discovered at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in a room where surgical tools were sterilized. Elective surgeries were quickly halted once the mold was discovered. Earlier in 2019, mold was found in the air system at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Six patients were infected because of the mold, with one dying as a result.
The incident at Seattle Children’s Hospital shows the harm mold can do to young patients, but mold growth can also adversely affect other people who stay at hospitals. According to WebMD, in addition to infants and children, mold growth can cause serious health problems for elderly people and patients who suffer from chronic lung disease. Mold can also be dangerous to patients who have impaired immune systems due to conditions like HIV and cancer.
There are a number of reasons why molds may form in hospitals. Since moisture is what molds especially require for growth, molds are most likely to be found in locations that are often damp, usually where water or liquid runs. These include places like bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. HVAC systems can also create molds if the ventilation ducts do not remove humidity or if water is allowed to pool inside the ducts.
Proper maintenance of a health care facility, such as having ducts repaired and keeping bathrooms and laundry rooms clean and ventilated, is important to prevent possible harm to patients as a result of molds. Sometimes mold growth is unexpected, but if it results from inadequate care on the part of a hospital staff, hospital negligence may have taken place.