PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — UPMC announced Friday night that a third transplant patient has died and mold is suspected to have contributed to the patient’s death.
The latest patient died Thursday night at UPMC Montefiore Hospital, which is next door to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Oakland. That’s where two heart transplant patients with mold infections had previously died.
Dr. Steven Shapiro, UPMC’s chief medical officer, said the Montefiore patient’s death “was probably related to a mold infection, and we are sampling everything, from air, to linens, to equipment, to try to find the source, so we can fix it.”
Dr. Shapiro added that UPMC was working with the Allegheny County Health Department, the state Health Department and the CDC to get to the bottom of the mold problem.
He said that UPMC had started putting all of its transplant patients at both hospitals on a new, anti-fungal medication, mainly as a precaution.
In the two earlier deaths of heart transplant patients, one had been infected with the fungus last year, the other was infect this past June.
UPMC has since shut down its cardiothoracic unit at Presbyterian Hospital, where mold was discovered after an environmental cleanup was done and 18 other patients in that unit were re-located.