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Cape Hospital investigating possible mold problem

By Staff | Jul 17, 2010

Officials from Cape Coral Hospital are investigating whether 12 rooms within the hospital contain mold.
Wallpaper in one unit of the hospital was found to be discolored as early as July 2, said Steve Streed, system director for Infection Control and Epidemiology, but whether the discoloring is from mold has not been determined.
“That is to be assessed and that is what we are up to,” he said.
The issue could be the result of mold within the hospital or from ongoing construction projects at Cape Coral Hospital, but conversely, it could be as simple as a piece of wallpaper getting wet and needing to be replaced.
Streed said the mold testing, which includes lifting a piece of tape from a suspected wall, will take a few days. And at this point he said it will take too long to do a culture and see if mold grows.
The health system has an Infection Control Risk Assessment — a process to make sure patients and employees are protected from any dangerous infections — and Streed said patients have been moved from rooms with any discoloration.
“We keep our patients safe by moving out until we get to the stage of assessment where we are at now,” he said.
Although a logical step would be to tear out the wallpaper, Streed said that in cases of potential mold a piece of wallpaper acts as a bandage. If that bandage was ripped off without precaution, it could spread spores throughout the hospital.
If mold is found in the near future, hospital staff would install a protective envelope with a filtration system around the site to ensure nothing is spread. This process is also a national guideline for hospitals, said Streed.
“There are very set routines,” he said. “We have practiced this and done this for any project.”