Agencies Reject Report Linking Linens, Disease In UPMC Mold Case

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — January 30, 2017 — State and federal health officials last week reaffirmed their earlier findings that cleared linens in the 2015 and 2016 deaths of five immune-compromised University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) patients, despite a report for UPMC circulated to media outlets by a plaintiffs’ lawyer who is suing UPMC and Paris Cos., DuBois, Pa., on charges of causing the fatal infections in two cases.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (PaDOH) pointed to the lack of evidence to implicate linens as a source of mold that infected the patients, who were already critically ill. Both agencies stated they would not investigate further.

TRSA Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification requires initial and ongoing quarterly microbiological testing. In addition, yeast and mold activity levels are determined.


Hygienically Clean Healthcare standards for processing linens and garments require inspection to verify laundries’ commitment to best management practices (BMPs) plus this microbial testing to quantify hygiene of clean textiles produced. Certification confirms a laundry’s dedication to compliance and BMPs as described in its quality assurance documentation (QA). The standard calls for a supplemental second inspection during a facility’s three-year certification period.

The TRSA Hygienically Clean Healthcare Advisory Board, Healthcare Committee, and Hygienically Clean Users Groups are aware of the report and litigation, and will be reviewing all Hygienically Clean Healthcare policies and procedures, including testing and inspection.

The study referenced by plaintiffs’ attorneys did not significantly measure clean linen contamination at the Paris facility or the hospital, nor did it directly link any linen to patients.

Posted January 30, 2017

Source: TRSA