Dan Krieg, 56, contracted the infection after a kidney transplant in July 2015 at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). He was diagnosed with a Rhizopus mold infection and required surgery to remove part of his lungs.
Negative-pressure rooms are designed for patients who have an infectious disease. The rooms are supposed to prevent air inside the room from circulating in the hospital and infecting other patients.
The problem is that negative pressure can pull in particles — or mold — from outside the room. This is what investigators with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) believes caused the outbreak.
In December 2015, the CDC asked the hospital to stop putting transplant patients in negative-pressure rooms. The hospital agreed and also stopped performing organ transplants.
Several lawsuits have been filed by victims. In May, the daughter of Carly Fisher, 47, was paid a $1.35 million settlement. Fisher had a successful heart transplant at UPMC in June 2014, but developed a mold infection a few months later and died in October 2014.
Another lawsuit was filed by the family of Che DuVall, a 70 year-old man who developed the infection after a lung transplant in August 2015. He died in February after contracting the infection. The lawsuit is pending.
UPMC issued a statement Monday regarding Krieg’s death.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Mr. Krieg. His death was not directly related to the fungal infection, but rather can be attributed to pneumonia. … Our thoughts and sympathies go to his family, and our doctors and nurses who cared for him over the past several months.”
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review