Mold found in Staten Island University Hospital North’s maternity unit is being blamed for dozens of employees falling ill in recent months, according to a New York Daily News report.
Nurses and other workers in the maternity unit have reported illnesses such as headaches, dizziness, and swollen throats after air monitoring devices found the presence of mold and trace amounts of anesthetic gases. Hospital officials say no patients have had symptoms.
As of December 31, 53 employees had reported falling ill in the unit. A nursery has been relocated, but nurses have asked for the entire unit to be moved, according to the Daily News.
In September, staff in the unit reported a chemical odor in the nursery of the hospitals’ maternity floor; several reported suffering from headaches and experiencing dizziness. After the odor was reported, babies were moved to a backup nursery in the maternity unit. After air monitoring was done, mold was found at moderately elevated levels, with waterborne mold found behind a sink wall. The area was decontaminated, and the nursery is being rebuilt after air monitoring results found the air to be clear, according to the report.
Hospital officials say they have no plans to move the unit because tests have found no risk to patients.