New research has found that insufficient training for construction workers in hospital settings may contribute to fungal disease outbreaks that endanger patients.
Washington State University and Clemson University researchers published their findings in the influential American Journal of Infection Control. Several previous studies have reported that invasive fungal diseases in health care facilities often occur after construction and renovation projects.
There have been nearly 50 fungal outbreaks associated with construction between 1980 and 2015 in the U.S. These have resulted in infections blamed for more than 120 patient deaths. Infections from mold are particularly hazardous to people who are already sick and in the hospital.
Frequent training needs to be provided to everyone, from laborers to upper management, according to researchers. The Washington State and Clemson researchers are developing detailed training guidelines for construction crews to address the problem.