Air-conditioners linked to mould at hospital
AIR-CONDITIONERS will be replaced in the women's health and children's units in an effort to combat a mould problem at Mackay Base Hospital.
Hospital chief executive Jo Whitehead said they sought expert advice on the cause of the mould growth and the best way to eradicate it, after Queensland Health confirmed last week that mould had been discovered "in several areas" of Mackay Base Hospital.
An independent report recommended a combination of replacing air conditioning systems in older parts of the hospital and remediation in the new parts was best to eradicate mould from the hospital.
"I need to stress this is non-toxic mould and that air quality tests show airborne mould concentration samples do not include pathogens associated with invasive disease," Ms Whitehead said.
"Pathology tests have been reviewed for the previous six months and have not revealed any hospital-acquired mould infections," she said.
A design engineer arrived on site Thursday to begin redesigning the air-conditioning in B Block, which contains the Women's Health and Child and Adolescent units.
B Block was built in 1999 and was refurbished as part of the overall Mackay Base Hospital redevelopment.
"It will take four to six weeks for this design work to be done and received, and then the next step will be to appoint a contractor to do the work," Ms Whitehead said.
She said the expert advice was that mould built up in B Block because drip trays were not angled which allowed the water to pool instead of drain.
Humidity levels through the entire hospital will also be reviewed to ensure they are not conducive to the growth of mould.
Ms Whitehead said a mould remediation contractor would be engaged to clean air conditioning ducts in newer sections of the hospital.
The experts have advised mould has grown in new areas due to varying humidity levels and issues with joins in the ducting.
"The works will take some time as we need to fully identify the scope of the work required," she said.