Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Mold, Fungus Cited In PA Hospital Deaths
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Even as it is facing multiple law suits on the same issue, UPMC, the Pittsburgh, Pa. based health conglomerate, has been cited by state health officials for failure to maintain required controls in the handling of bed and other linens.
In a complaint investigation completed in February, UPMC's Shadyside hospital was cited for failure to maintain temperature and air pressure requirements in areas where clean and soiled linens are stored.
In addition the eight-page report cites the fact that clean linens were being transported past containers filled with soiled linens.
UPMC did not respond to a request for comment.
The report comes as UPMC is facing suits from the survivors of patients who died after suffering fungal infections linked to bed linens. The UPMC's linen supplier is a co-defendant, Paris Healthcare, in some of those suits.
The inspection on Feb. 16-17 came following a complaint from an unidentified source.
"Based on a tour of the facility and staff interview, it was determined that the facility failed to maintain soiled and clean linens in properly ventilated and temperature controlled areas according to acceptable standards of practice, the report states.
The report notes that clean linen storage areas "are required to be maintained under positive pressure in relation to adjacent areas, have two total air changes an hour and temperature shall be controlled between 72 and 78 degrees fahrenheit."
The report states that an unidentified hospital employee acknowledged that the UPMC facilities did not comply with the required standards.
In a plan of correction filed by UPMC, hospital officials said that the needed permanent changes could not be completed before September. However they promised to implement an interim corrective action plan by June 7.
The interim plan includes steps to ensure that the area where clean linens are stored are under positive pressure. Automatic door closers will also be installed.
"The plans involve a significant change to the physical location of clean and soiled linens to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements," the report states.
In addition UPMC promised to implement an education plan to ensure employees are aware of the regulatory requirements.