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Two patient deaths linked to an infection from pigeon droppings have prompted the review of Glasgow’s flagship hospital.
While confined in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH), an elderly patient and a child contracted a fungal infection often gotten from bird excrement. Both patients died, and the infection reportedly contributed to the child’s death. However, doctors said that the elderly patient died of another cause.
The fungus that caused the infection was traced to a room containing machinery on the hospital’s 12th floor. The room reportedly has a hole in the wall that could not be seen easily. The investigators were only able to find the opening by doing a smoke test.
Because of the unfortunate incidents, Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman ordered a review of the hospital’s design. She said that the review would reexamine the hospital’s structure, construction, and maintenance, among other things. It will be conducted to figure out how the problems have arisen and to determine what needs to be fixed in the building.
In response to Freeman’s move, Scottish Labour Party’s health spokeswoman Monica Lennon said that the hospital’s review was already overdue. Lennon pointed out that since 2016, the hospital has been constantly encountering problems. These issues include sewage leaks that led to temporarily halting operations, and broken glass panels crashing from the hospital’s 10th floor. Recently, there was also news of bacteria contaminating the water supply in some parts of the hospital. Lennon said that these problems should have alarmed any hospital, but most especially a major health institution like the QEUH.