PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Three thousand patient families are being notified after mold was found in several surgical rooms at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Aspergillus was detected in four of 14 operating rooms; those rooms are closed until further notice.
One mother in Puyallup is even more frustrated after calling the information helpline provided by hospital officials today.
“So you’re not giving me any information then?”
Jodie Puppe took her 11-year-old son Ryan to Seattle Children’s Hospital for sinus surgery in April.
“It was supposed to be like a 2-hour surgery, he was back there for 4½ hours.
When she heard the news about the Aspergillus, a common type of mold we breathe every day, she panicked.
“They’re right there open and ready to collect and bacteria or fungus or anything going in that air.”
The chief medical officer with Seattle Children’s says patients with non-invasive surgeries are at a lower risk for contracting an infection because of the mold.
That's not good enough for Jodie.
“They’re just like, ok, you have a lower risk, but they’re not really giving us information... So that’s frustrating. It really upsets me actually.”
Jodie is worried that because of Ryan’s complicated medical history, and compromised immune system, he could be at risk.
“He gets sick all the time... I get they have a lot of patients, but, I care about my kid."
She called the information line, hoping to confirm that during his 4½ hour surgery—her son wasn’t impacted by Aspergillus in the air.
“Was he in one of the operating rooms?”
Unfortunately, those details weren’t available to Jodie.
“I want them to tell me what’s going on. I deserve to know.”
So now, she waits.
“I feel like it actually gave even more anxiety just because I’m like ok, now you’re really not giving me any information."
So does Ryan.
“I don’t really care if I’m sick…as long as I don’t die," he said.
Jodie says she will be taking Ryan to his Primary Care physician to get him checked out.
Officials with the hospital say they conduct quarterly air tests and are still investigating how the mold got into the four surgical rooms. Seattle Children's also reached out to Jodie to schedule a follow-up appointment.
The phone number provided by hospital officials for patient families to call is 206-987-1061. Click here for more information.