Baby dies after contracting mold infection at children’s hospital


(CBS News) — A nearly 6-month-old baby has died after contracting an Aspergillus mold infection at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Beth Hutt died early Wednesday, CBS affiliate KIRO-TV reported.

Her parents, Katie and Micah Hutt, said in a Facebook post that they were very grateful to the team that watched over their daughter.  The baby “gained her wings on her 175th day of life,” her parents wrote on Facebook.

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Beth was born in August with a heart condition and was rushed from Tacoma General Hospital to Seattle Children’s, where she had three surgeries, beginning when she was 5 days old.

At some point at Seattle Children’s, Beth contracted an infection in her heart from the Aspergillus mold, a recurring problem that has sickened patients at the hospital as far back as 2001. KIRO reports that since 2001, 14 Seattle Children’s patients have been infected with Aspergillus mold and six have died.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said Aspergillus mold can live indoors or outside and that most people breathe it daily without getting sick. But people with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of developing infections in the lungs or sinuses from the mold. Aspergillosis can range from mild to serious, manifesting as an allergic reaction or infections in the lungs and other organs.

Beth’s family is involved in a class-action lawsuit against Children’s, first filed in December on behalf of the families of patients who have been sickened from the mold.

Seattle Children’s released the following statement Wednesday: “Losing a child is incredibly devastating for everyone whose lives were touched by that child. Our deepest condolences go out to families and loved ones who have experienced a loss. Out of respect for privacy of our patients and their families, Seattle Children’s will not be sharing additional information.”