Mold Discovery Halts Elective Surgeries at L.A. County-USC Medical Center

The Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center is seen in a file photo. (Credit: (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center is seen in a file photo. (Credit: (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

Health officials have abruptly halted all elective surgeries at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center after the discovery of mold contamination in a room used to sterilize surgical equipment.

The Boyle Heights hospital, which is part of the L.A. County Department of Health Services system that serves as the safety net for millions of the county’s poorest and most vulnerable residents, will be unable to perform surgery and many other medical procedures for an estimated two weeks, according to an internal hospital email obtained by The Times.

“The Central Sterile processing room, which disinfects all [operating room] and procedural supplies for clinical areas, is suffering from severe water damage and mold contamination and must be closed immediately,” Chief Medical Officer Brad Spellberg wrote to the hospital’s attending physicians and residents on Wednesday. Elective surgeries were canceled the same day.

The 600-bed facility, one of the largest public hospitals in the country, can still disinfect a small amount of surgical equipment, Spellberg wrote, and that will be used for trauma cases. All other procedures, except dentistry, which sterilizes its equipment at an alternative location, would be canceled.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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