Mount Carmel confirms 1 death following Legionnaires’ diagnosis from Grove City branch


GROVE CITY, Ohio — One person who was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease following recent treatment at Mount Carmel Grove City has died, the hospital confirmed Sunday.

Chief Clinical Operations Officer Dr. Richard Streck says out of respect for the patient's privacy and privacy laws, the hospital is not discussing the specifics of the patient's information.

"We can say that it's too early to determine the final cause of death," Dr. Streck said in a statement.

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Friday, Mount Carmel said at least eight cases of Legionnaire’s were confirmed in individuals recently treated at the Grove City branch. Documents from the Ohio Department of Health say the first case of Legionnaires’ occurred on April 29, just one day after the branch’s opening.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued an adjudication order in response to the outbreak, saying the branch needed to take immediate action or stop accepting new patients. The actions primarily included flushing and disinfecting all water lines, cleaning ice machines and ensuring the cleaning and servicing of the site’s cooling towers.

ODH says it needs to see that Legionella isn't growing for seven to 10 days before water systems will be considered safe.

Bottled water is being used in the meantime.

Dr. Streck's full statement can be read below:

We are deeply saddened to confirm that one of the patients who was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease passed away today. Out of respect for the family's privacy and in keeping with patient privacy laws, we are not discussing the specifics and complexities of patient information. We can say that it's too early to determine the final cause of death. For most people, the risk of developing Legionnaires' disease is low; however, individuals with chronic, underlying medical conditions are at increased risk.

Currently, we're working with county and state health officials to identify the source of the bacteria. We’ve taken several steps to protect our patients, staff and visitors, including implementing extensive water restrictions. We are running additional tests on water sources throughout Mount Carmel Grove City, and our entire water supply is undergoing supplemental disinfection. We're confident that we can safely maintain full services of the hospital.

If an individual has been hospitalized and developed cough, muscle aches, headaches, fever or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care physician. Members of the public who have questions or would like more information can call 614-265-8111.

We will provide updates as we learn more.

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton released this statement:

“My entire team and I are deeply saddened by the death announced tonight by Mount Carmel Grove City, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. We share concern for all impacted by this outbreak. The Ohio Department of Health continues to work closely with Franklin County Public Health and the Mount Carmel Hospital System as we work to ensure patient safety.

Legionnaires’ disease generally kills about 10 percent of those diagnosed in the general population, but that rate can rise to 1 in 4 people when the outbreak is at a nursing home or hospital.

We appreciate the great efforts and systems the hospital has implemented to assure the safety of their patients and staff, and the work of our partners at Franklin County Public Health.”

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