Surgeries stopped after mold found at LA County-USC Medical Center

Health officials announced that all surgeries at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center will be halted after mold contamination was discovered in a room used for sterilizing surgical equipment.

The hospital, located near the Health Sciences Campus, is under the jurisdiction of the L.A. County Department of Health Services. According to the Los Angeles Times, LAC+USC will be unable to perform surgery and other medical operations and procedures for an estimated two weeks. The Times reported that dental procedures will not be affected because its equipment is sterilized at another location.

The Times obtained an internal email from Chief Medical Officer Brad Spellberg that informed the hospital’s medical personnel about the discovery. In the email, Spellberg wrote that the Central Sterile processing room, which is used to sterilize all clinical supplies and equipment, suffered from mold contamination and water damage.

The Daily Trojan was unable to obtain the email. DHS and LAC+USC did not respond in time for publication.

It is unclear how many patients will be affected by the surgery or how many patients will be transferred to other facilities.

LAC+USC is a 600-bed facility and is one of the largest public hospitals in the nation. The center is affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine at USC and operates special units including a Burn Center, Trauma Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Many physicians and residents at the medical center, located in Boyle Heights, comprise USC faculty and students. 

According to the Times, the email said mold was discovered in the room in the last day or so and as of now, there is no information about who made the discovery. LAC+USC opened its doors in 2008.