A look at the events throughout the UPMC mold crisis since October 2014.
Heart transplant patient Tracy Fischer, 47, of Erie dies in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit of UPMC Presbyterian.
Heart transplant patient Shelby Slagle, 27, of Groveport, Ohio dies in the same unit.
Lung transplant patient Che DuVall, 70, of Perryopolis is diagnosed with a fungal infection in an external wound while being treated at Presby’s CTICU. Doctors try various treatments to keep him alive.
Hospital officials remove all patients from the 20-bed ICU and shut it down.
Acting on a tip, Tribune-Review confirms the ICU’s closure. The Trib is the first to report this story.
An unnamed 47-year-old liver transplant patient from West Virginia dies from a fungal infection at UPMC Montefiore.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is notified by the Pennsylvania Department of Health of an outbreak of fungal infections among UPMC’s transplant recipients.
UPMC hires mold and hospital environment specialist expert Andrew Streifel of the University of Minnesota to investigate the outbreak.
At the request of the United Network for Organ Sharing, UPMC halts its internationally known transplant program.
At UPMC’s request, CDC arrives in Pittsburgh to investigate the outbreak.
Dr. Steven Shapiro, UPMC’s chief scientific officer, says publicly the hospital does not know the source of the mold. UPMC is investigating air seals around windows and doors, medical equipment, air filters and hospital laundry, he says. While there is no evidence they are involved, linens for immunocompromised patients are targeted. They’re completely sealed in plastic from the moment they leave the cleaning facility until they arrive in the ICU.
CDC in a preliminary report says it found “no single source” of fungal infections linked to three deaths in transplant patients at the time. The agency points to a ventilation system in a hospital room as a possible transmission mode.
DuVall’s wife, Karen, sues UPMC for his injuries. She is represented by Pittsburgh attorney Brendan Lupetin of Meyers Evans Lupetin & Unatin.
At UPMC’s request, consultant Streifel and others conduct a site visit of Paris Laundry’s DuBois plant. They collect fungal air quality and contact surface samples to examine if they contain fungus.
Streifel and consultant Michael Buck conduct a similar site visit at Presby and Montefiore. They test linens from a cart delivered by Paris. Results reveal heavy growth of two types of fungus, mucor and rhizopus.
DuVall dies at UPMC Presbyterian.
DuVall’s wife amends lawsuit to include wrongful death.
Kidney transplant Daniel Krieg, 56, of St. Marys, Elk County, is diagnosed with a fungal infection while confined to UPMC Montefiore’s TICU.
Final report from Streifel and Buck reveals widespread fungal growth throughout the Paris Laundry facility as well as areas of UPMC hospitals.
CDC publishes a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report citing inability to identify a unifying source for the four cases of fungal infections it had investigated. It recommends that a ventilation system at UPMC previously linked to the mold crisis should not be used for patients with weakened immune systems.
Fischer’s family settles a wrongful death claim with UPMC without litigating for $1.35 million.
Krieg dies at UPMC Montefiore. UPMC maintains that pneumonia caused his death. An autopsy stated that a lobe of his lung contained rhizopus mold.
Slagle’s family settles with UPMC for $1.35 million in connection with her death.
Krieg’s nephew, Jesse, sues UPMC for wrongful death in connection with the death of his uncle. He is also represented by Lupetin.
Attorney Lupetin, on behalf of Krieg and DuVall, files a subpoena requesting Paris produce documents related to any mold or fungus testing at its facility on any linens it supplied to UPMC. He requests all communications between Paris and UPMC related to the mold crisis.
Paris, through public relations agency Elias/Savion, says its facilities have protocols in place “to produce hygienically clean linen.”
Paris, in another statement from its p.r. agency, says the company “has never found mold from their own internal testing of the linens produced at their facility.”
UPMC through its lawyers objects to the subpoenas calling them “unduly vague and ambiguous,” and “not relevant” to the lawsuits.