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Two patients die at Pennsylvania hospital after mold discovered

When Pottsville residents get seriously ill, they feel safe knowing they have a place to go for treatment and follow-up care. Unfortunately, while hospitals can be life-saving places for the patients who rely on them, they can also be places where patients are injured even worse after being admitted.

There are any number of dangers in hospital care, including hospital-acquired infections, mistakes made by physicians who provide care at the facility or other events that place the safety of the patient in jeopardy.

For instance, officials are currently investigating the deaths of two patients at a Pennsylvania hospital. The patients died after contracting mold infections while at the hospital for heart transplants. The source of the infection may have been the toilets in the hospital's cardiothoracic intensive care unit. While conclusive results have yet to be determined, the ICU was closed after the mold infections were discovered.

While the case above may be unique, sadly injuries that occur to patients at hospitals are not uncommon. When the injuries are caused by hospital negligence, the injured patient may have a cause of action for medical malpractice he or she can allege against the hospital or physician at fault.

This is not always easy to show. In order for negligence to occur, the doctor or hospital had to have a duty of care for the patient, and there must have been a violation of that duty of care. For instance, if the hospital facilities were not safe and this was known or should have been known by the hospital, then the hospital might be negligent in not adequately caring for the patient. Ultimately, each case will turn on the facts involved, but the seriousness of patient injuries demands that patients hold negligent doctors and hospitals accountable for their actions.

Source: TribLive, "UPMC: 2 patients might have died in mold outbreak at Presbyterian," Ben Schmitt, Sept. 17, 2015

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