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Mold persists at Seattle Children's Hospital. State is investigating

caption: Seattle Children's Hospital is shown on Thursday, November 14, 2019, in Seattle.
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Seattle Children's Hospital is shown on Thursday, November 14, 2019, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

For the second time this year, Seattle Children’s Hospital has closed all its operating rooms due to a mold problem.

All 14 operating rooms are closed off until at least Monday. Patients who need surgery will be seen in temporary operating rooms — or sent to other hospitals.

Aspergillus mold was detected in the air in five hospital rooms on Sunday.

The state Department of Health is investigating, according to spokesperson Julie Graham.

"If we find deficiencies, they have a period of time to come up with a plan of correction to fix those problems, and then they're responsible to implement it," Graham said.

The hospital is investigating and sanitizing its air filter system and deep-cleaning the operating rooms. A hospital spokesperson said they're monitoring patients who would be at high-risk to mold exposure, but did not say how many patients were exposed.

The hospital already replaced its air filtration system earlier this year, after a patient died after exposure to the same mold. Five other patients were infected at that time.

Regarding the state's investigation, Graham says it's the health department's job to ensure that Washington's health care facilities are safe.

Aspergillus mold is common in the air, but can sometimes cause complications for surgical patients.

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