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UF Health Shands Hospital Responds To Mold Discovery In North Tower

A cancer patient at UF Health Shands Hospital said she and her family found mold in the bathroom of her room in the hospital on the north campus.

Cynthia Lewis, 56, who has endometrial cancer, cancer of the uterus, was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) for complications resulting from chemotherapy. Lewis was later transferred to room 7524 in the hospital's north tower, which is where she and her family found the mold.

Lewis' family requested she be moved to another room and five hours later she was.

Before being moved, Lewis' family had recorded a video of the mold, which appears black and brown to the naked eye. Her family posted the video to social media.
An original broadcast report of this story, classified the mold as black mold, which is a specific type of mold, but the mold had not been tested before that statement was made.

In response to the report, UF Health Shands Hospital sent WUFT News a statement that reads:
It is our intention to provide the highest quality care and a safe environment for our patients. We try to respond promptly when an issue is identified. All of the bathrooms in more than 600 patient rooms in the UF Health Shands Hospital north campus have been inspected for mold. Some mold was found in the patient room, as well as two adjacent patient rooms. A small amount of superficial mold was found in a few other bathrooms. The mold in the first patient room has been mitigated and the room has been thoroughly cleaned. UF Health Shands Hospital teams are currently working to address the other units. No other mold has been found in the hospital.

We follow industry standard protocols for mold detection and mitigation recommended by our infection control and environmental health and safety experts. It is based upon the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection Agency’s document on mold remediation in schools and commercial buildings.

We follow industry standard protocols for cleaning patient rooms and other clinical areas. The rooms are cleaned daily using CDC-recommended high touch points, including bed rails, the over-bed table, remote controls, the telephone, toilet handrails and door handles. These surfaces and others are sanitized daily using hospital-grade cleansers and disinfectants. The rooms are also cleaned thoroughly and inspected after a patient has been discharged from the hospital before the room is used again. In addition, we have multidisciplinary teams that inspect rooms at multiple points throughout the year.

 According to the CDC, mold spores occur in indoor and outdoor environments. Mold spores may enter buildings from the outside through open doorways, windows, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems with outdoor air intakes. Spores in the air outside also attach themselves to people and animals, making clothing, shoes, bags, and pets, which are all convenient vehicles for carrying mold indoors.

Once Lewis was moved, she and her family were pleased with the room and service provided by the hospital.

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org