The Saskatoon Health Region is investigating the cause of a rise in lung infections after six cancer patients were infected.
The region’s hematology program noticed an increased rate of fungal lung infections among the Royal University Hospital’s leukaemia and lymphoma patients over the past seven months.
So far six patients at various stages of cancer treatment have been infected. All had compromised immune systems. Some have already recovered from the bug and no one has died as a result of the infection.
The region does not know the cause of the infection, or whether it came from inside or outside the hospital.
“These are bugs that are common on the surface of anyone in your home or hospital,” hematology clinical lead doctor Mark Bosch said. “The bugs are common everywhere, however the rate of infections is what’s increased.”
He said they do not know if the rise is just a “statistical fluke,” but they usually see less than five cases in six months.
Vice president of corporate services Marcel Nobert said the RUH did air-quality tests but there wasn’t anything abnormal in the results. He said they are also reviewing their cleaning protocols and mapping out where patients went within the hospital.
Bosch said they have also contacted a “small number” of at-risk patients but the infection does not pose a risk to the general public.
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