In November 2019, Seattle Children’s Hospital issued a press statement that 14 of its patients had been sickened and six had died due to Aspergillus mold on its premises since 2001.
Stritmatter Kessler Koehler Moore and the John Layman Law Firm filed a Class Action Complaint on December 2, 2019, against Seattle Children’s Hospital on behalf of the child patients who became infected by Aspergillus mold after they were hospitalized between the late 1990s through 2019.
The complaint alleges:
- that hospital administrators failed to maintain a safe environment for the patients;
- the doctors and nurses who provided care to the child patients did not know that the hospital premises were unsafe,
- that transmission of Aspergillus was Seattle Children’s Hospital’s fault.
This is the story of child patient K.T. whose case has now been resolved.
During the 22nd week of her third pregnancy, K.T.’s mother was told that the baby boy she was carrying had Transposition of the Greater Arteries (TGA) – and would require surgical intervention soon after his birth in order to survive. K.T. was born on March 28, 2019, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Within hours of his birth, K.T.’s oxygen saturations began to worsen – a common occurrence in infants with TGA as oxygen-poor blood is sent to their body rather than their lungs for reoxygenation. He was intubated and transferred to Seattle Children’s Hospital where he underwent surgery. On April 4, 2019, K.T. went through a more complex surgery – an Arterial Switch Operation at Seattle Children’s Hospital in operating room #11.
K.T. was eventually discharged home with his mother and brothers on April 17, 2019. He continued with outpatient monitoring by his physicians. He thrived at home and gained weight. Given K.T.’s pulmonary and cardiac surgery history, as well as the spike in Aspergillus cases at Seattle Children’s Hospital during the time he was inpatient, K.T. was placed on Aspergillus Clinical Support Guidelines on a prophylactic basis.
K.T. remained on anti-fungal prophylactic therapy until July 12, 2019. K.T.’s mother took him on weekly doctor visits for blood draws to check for positive Aspergillus Galactomannan, but also to ensure that he had reached therapeutic levels with the Posaconazole. The technicians often had difficulty drawing K.T.’s blood necessitating numerous pokes. K.T.’s blood tests each returned absent of signs of Aspergillus Galactomannan. He has since made a good recovery.