A total of four patients who underwent double lung transplants at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in western Pennsylvania all contracted fungal infections after a mold outbreak at the hospital, and they are all now dead, CBS News revealed.
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The latest and fourth case is that of Che DuVall, a 70-year-old retired glass cutter who died on Saturday – according to CBS News.
DuVall had undergone a double lung transplant at UPMC Presbyterian in August 2015, but was diagnosed with having a fungal infection on September 3 before the hospital authorities observed the mold outbreak. In January, he and his wife Karen sued UPMC Presbyterian at the Allegheny County for negligently exposing him to the infection – which prompted part removal of his new lungs.
UPMC would not comment on the litigation but emphasized that transplant patients with weakened immunity are always at risk of getting infected with things that wouldn’t impact healthy people, and that mold infection couldn’t have been the direct cause of the four deaths linked to mold outbreak in the hospital.
"We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, as well as to our doctors and nurses who have worked with great compassion and skill to care for him," UPMC spokeswoman Allison Hydzik said in a statement. "We again want to reassure our patients that we have taken every possible precaution to make our hospitals as safe as is humanly possible and have followed all recommendations made by federal and state regulators."
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Brendan Lupetin, DuVall’s family attorney said “our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time,” saying there might not be the need for any autopsy but then, the existing lawsuit may need to be amended.