Patients in Altnagelvin ICU test positive for Aspergillus fungus

Altnagelvin HospitalAltnagelvin Hospital
Altnagelvin Hospital
A deep clean of the Intensive Care Unit in Altnagelvin has been carried out after a ‘small number of patients’ tested positive for Aspergillus.

A spokesperson for the Western Trust said that the positive cases were identified during routine weekly patient sampling.

Aspergillus is a common type of fungus that grows on dust and can be found in heating and air conditioning systems.

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The spokesperson added: “Aspergillus does present a risk to some groups of patients and we are working to reduce any risks posed by the environmental organism.

“These measures included a deep clean of the area, further air sampling and monitoring, more frequent patient testing and additional environmental protection work.”

They confirmed that the ICU remains open for admissions, but has ceased facilitating regional transfers from other hospitals in the north.

“We are working closely with the Department of Health and Public Health Agency whilst we continue to monitor the environment in ICU, and have commenced the process of communicating with relevant families,” the spokesperson said.

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Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan expressed concern about the positive cases.

“It’s deeply concerning that a number of patients in ICU at Altnagelvin have been affected by the discovery of Aspergillus fungus. The Western Trust must act quickly to get this under control and ensure the health and well-being of patients and staff is paramount.”

She added: “I welcome that work is already underway to reduce the risks, including a deep clean of the area. My thoughts are with all those impacted by this worrying situation.”