Information About Aspergillus for Patients Who Have Had Surgery at the Hospital

During a recent routine air test, Aspergillus was found in some of our operating rooms and equipment storage rooms at Seattle Children’s main hospital campus. Aspergillus is a common type of mold found in the environment and the air we breathe, both indoors and outside. In most cases, it does not cause health problems.

Infections from Aspergillus are not contagious and cannot be spread from one person to another. However, if Aspergillus is present in an operating room, there is a small chance it could cause a surgical site infection.

The vast majority of patients are not at risk for surgical site infections. If you/your child had surgery at Seattle Children’s main hospital campus since January 20, 2019, you will receive a letter with more information about the low risk of infection associated with Aspergillus. If the procedure did not involve an incision of your skin, you are at no risk of infection.

After receiving the letter, you may have additional questions. If you have a post-operation appointment scheduled with your surgeon, they will assess for signs and symptoms of infection at that time. Symptoms for any surgical site infection may include redness, swelling or drainage at the surgical site, or fever. If you had neurosurgery, you also will want to watch for fever, headache or stiff neck. If you notice any of these, call the clinic that did your surgery right away.

If you have not yet had a follow-up appointment or phone call and you have concerns, talk with your surgeon at that appointment or call the clinic that did your surgery. You also can call 206-987-2550 and we will answer your questions. If you need an interpreter, call 866-583-1527 and ask to be connected to this number: 7-2550. Our Patient and Family Relations team is available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.