We continue to be transparent with federal and state health regulators and we shared all our findings with them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Pennsylvania Department of Health were unable to determine a definitive source for the fungal infections. Despite the lack of a definitive source, UPMC still went above and beyond state and federal recommendations in order to implement changes to protect our patients. One of the many changes includes the provision of specially treated bioburden-reduced linens to our highest risk transplant patients. In addition, UPMC has shared our evidence-based findings and actions with our peer health institutions to encourage them to examine their protocols.
It is important to remember that the mold that caused these infections is common in all environments and does not cause illness in anyone except for those with the most severely compromised immune systems. UPMC treats the sickest of the sick amongst the transplant population, including patients in need of a transplant that other medical centers won’t perform. In transplant patients with suppressed immune systems these fungal infections are infrequent, but do occur at most major transplant centers without any discernable source.