September 22nd, 2015 1:33 PM by Dan Howard
The suspension of one of the nation's renowned e organ transplant program is very big news, but really..... another important story here is that mold exposure can happen in the homes, automobiles, workplaces and many other areas frequented by these and other immunosuppressed patients. Patient's home environments need checked for mold before a transplant patient is sent home.
As one of the nation's leading transplant programs, the PA and Federal Departments of Health and the CDC are involved in exploring and solving the UPMC transplant patient mold problem. This is an important issue because the very lives of many patients awaiting organ transplants are now hanging in the wind while the mold deaths are being examined.
The transplant centers like UPMC have trained professionals to monitor mold conditions and recognize the health problems mold creates when they arise. If they can miss the problem, what is a homeowner to do without that level of expertise?
The longer an immunosuppressed person is in any place with mold, the higher the chance for a serious mold related health problem to occur. Most transplant patients spend far more time in their homes than in a hospital. The risk of serious problems arising increases with the longer the time of exposure no matter where that exposure exits.
The background here is that organ transplant recipients are placed on immunosuppressant drugs. This simply means that their immune system needs to be “turned on to low” to avoid the body rejecting the organs. The good news is that with anti-rejection therapy, transplant patients can now live for decades as compared to the original outcome of many living only days after the transplant.
The Mold Health Risk Affects More Than Organ Transplant Patients
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, many other people in addition to organ transplant recipients can be affected by mold growth. These include:
The news stories indicate that the UPMC mold problem, has existed for quite some time, exposing many patients to the deadly risks. The right person to observe and test for the problem was not involved. It needs to be a program in place.