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Testing reveals air quality at Ipswich Hospital

MOULD GONE: Workers cleaned an entire ward at Ipswich Hospital in March to remove a mould infestation. New testing shows the air quality in operating theatres is high quality.
MOULD GONE: Workers cleaned an entire ward at Ipswich Hospital in March to remove a mould infestation. New testing shows the air quality in operating theatres is high quality.

TESTING has shown there is no sign of the dangerous levels of mould that shut down Ipswich Hospital's intensive care unit last year.

During the holiday break, three of the hospital's seven operating theatres were closed for three weeks, as part of scheduled maintenance works and cleaning.

Results from air quality testing performed after the cleaning revealed "high air quality" in all three theatres.

In March, dangerous levels of mould were found in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit, triggering a major cleaning operation and the precautionary removal of patients from the ward. In high levels, exposure to the household mould can weaken people's immune systems.

Ipswich Hospital Executive Director Luke Worth said the recent maintenance was part of preventative works to ensure the safety of patients.

"We perform regular tests to check for potential air pollutants such as mould or fungus within our air conditioning and ventilation units," Dr Worth said.

"People breathe in amounts of different types of mould every day as mould occurs naturally in the environment. But in a hospital setting we need to be particularly vigilant about mould levels to protect those patients whose immunity is potentially compromised due to their illness.

"We are happy to report air quality testing in all three operating theatres returned good results and levels were below the recommended targets both before and after the cleaning program."

Last year, West Moreton Hospital and Health Service underwent a three week cleaning mission to rid the Intensive Care Unit of hazardous levels of mould.

First discovered in April 2015, the household mould initially appeared in the staff offices connected to the Intensive Care Unit.

It was cleaned but concern grew as the mould continued to return.

The air-conditioning was identified as the main culprit, spreading the mould.

All theatres are now operating as normal.

Topics:  intensive care ipswich hospital mould mould testing



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