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CDC findings expected soon on UPMC mold crisis

Ben Schmitt
| Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, 11:51 p.m.

Pennsylvania Department of Health officials expect to receive a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the recent UPMC mold crisis in three to four weeks.

A team of six CDC investigators wrapped up an inquiry and left Pittsburgh on Wednesday, said CDC spokesman Tom Skinner. Another investigator departed on Sept. 28, he said.

“They'll return to Atlanta, analyze their facts and information they've gathered, and they'll compile a final report in the coming weeks to provide to the state health department and medical facility,” Skinner said.

The state requested CDC assistance after UPMC voluntarily suspended organ transplants for six days.

Four patients contracted mold infections during the past year in UPMC Presbyterian and UPMC Montefiore. Three of the patients died, the last on Sept. 17. UPMC doctors maintain that their deaths cannot be directly attributed to the infections. However, an attorney for one of the deceased transplant patients, Tracy Fischer, said her autopsy report proves otherwise.

A fourth patient, 70-year-old Che Duvall, who received a lung transplant, remains hospitalized with a fungal infection.

Last week, state Department of Health Secretary Karen Murphy said UPMC will submit a corrective action plan to her office with “enhanced infection control and prophylactic measures designed to ensure patient safety recommended by the CDC.”

Ben Schmitt is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7991 or bschmitt@tribweb.com.

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