4th transplant patient infected at hospital dies
PITTSBURGH — A fourth transplant patient who contracted a fungal infection during a mold outbreak at a Pittsburgh hospital has died, officials said Sunday.
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center confirmed the death of Che DuVall, a 70-year-old retired glass cutter who was diagnosed with the infection in September, a month after undergoing a double lung transplant.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said four organ transplant patients who developed a mold infection at UPMC probably got it from time spent in a ‘‘negative pressure’’ room normally reserved for those who already had infections.
The hospital suspended its transplant program Sept. 21 but resumed it about a week later after a review of procedures and treatments.
DuVall and his wife, Karen, had filed a lawsuit in Allegheny County last month against UPMC Presbyterian, alleging that the hospital recklessly housed him in a room that made him more susceptible to such an infection, which prompted removal of parts of his new lungs.
UPMC, which declined to comment on the suit, has maintained that the deaths cannot be directly attributed to mold because transplant patients with weakened immune systems are at risk of picking up infections that otherwise healthy people routinely fight off.
Family attorney Brendan Lupetin told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that DuVall died Saturday morning at UPMC Presbyterian. He had three children.