Seattle Children's Hospital to close main operating rooms Wednesday amid mold problem

SEATTLE -- Seattle Children's Hospital says it will shut down all of its main operating rooms for several days starting on Wednesday to try and figure out where Aspergillus mold is getting in.

Over the weekend, air tests at the hospital found the mold in three of its 14 operating rooms and two procedural areas. The hospital confirms at least one patient is sick from mold exposure after being infected during surgery.

Aspergillus is a common mold often present in the air we breathe, but it can cause complications for surgical patients, as it did in May when the hospital revealed that one child died and five others were infected by the same mold.

The hospital said it fixed its air filtration system earlier this year. With the new contamination, it is now planning to close down the operating rooms for at least five days while crews check the system again and sanitize it.

Emergency surgeries will continue at an alternate site in Seattle Children's Hospital, and non-emergency cases could be delayed or sent to another hospital.

Patients and families can call 206-987-2550 or email for more information.