Healthcare Providers in Puerto Rico Reminded of Fungal Infection Risks after Deaths at UPMC
Zimmetry Environmental provides testing and consulting services to identify microbial pathogens in healthcare environments.
The tragedy that has occurred at the Pennsylvania hospital is a reminder to all healthcare providers in Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean that fungal contamination in an indoor environment can be deadly for some patients.
Last week, a hospital in Pennsylvania temporarily stopped performing all transplants after several patients developed fungal infections. So far, three patients have died and one is still battling an infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health are now helping to investigate the cause of the outbreak.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections that patients acquire during the course of receiving healthcare treatment for other conditions. These infections can be devastating and deadly, as the case in Pennsylvania has shown. In addition, HAIs add billions of dollars in medical costs each year.
While there are many types of bacteria that are associated with HAIs with familiar names to many people, there are also various types of fungi that can be deadly in healthcare environments. These environments are particularly sensitive because so many patients typically have a weakened or suppressed immune system.
One such type of fungi is known as Aspergillus. Most healthy people breathe in Aspergillus spores without it causing infections. Aspergillus spores are commonly found in buildings that have suffered water damage or elevated humidity levels that have allowed the mold to grow and multiply indoors. Buildings, such as healthcare facilities with people that have weakened immune systems, need to be especially vigilant of this fungal pathogen.
“The tragedy that has occurred at the Pennsylvania hospital is a reminder to all healthcare providers in Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean that fungal contamination in an indoor environment can be deadly for some patients,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “Fortunately, indoor environmental testing can help identify when microbial contaminants are present and at what levels. Air and surface testing can be instrumental in preventing outbreaks and identifying its source if one has already occurred.”
Zimmetry Environmental has teams of indoor environmental and microbial pathogen experts that provide testing and consulting services to healthcare providers in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean.
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their microbial pathogen, indoor air quality, environmental and compliance consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005, or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals, and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality (IAQ), asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs, and general environmental consulting services.
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