Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hospital in mold case puts focus on cancer's toll

TAMPA — A day after an attorney claimed that mold at St. Joseph's Hospital killed three young cancer patients, the hospital released a statement that emphasized its safety measures and highlighted the deadliness of cancer.

"Cancer kills more children than any other disease," the statement said. "Sometimes, despite all the measures we have in place, all the medical expertise we provide, and all the personal care we deliver, patients do not survive.

"It is devastating to lose a child at any time, and perhaps especially so after a long battle with cancer. Our team cares deeply for the children we serve and grieves for those whose lives we cannot save."

The hospital's statement did not address attorney Steve Yerrid's contention that mold released during the renovation of the ground floor of its children's oncology center led to fatal infections in three children who died within a month of one another last year.

Yerrid sued the hospital for negligence Tuesday on behalf of the three children's families.

Hospital spokeswoman Lisa Patterson said privacy laws prevented her from commenting specifically on the children's cases. But she said patients with immune systems weakened by cancer were known to be more susceptible to infection from a variety of causes.

The statement addressed the hospital's commitment to patient safety, including taking necessary measures to reduce infections throughout the facility.

Those measures include using barriers around construction areas, filtering the air and monitoring ventilation systems to minimize airborne contaminants. The hospital conducts regular preventative maintenance rounds and educates families about the importance of infection control measures, the statement said.

Yerrid said the families blame the hospital, not the treating physicians and nurses, for failing to follow established protocol during the construction.

"It is unfortunately true that cancer kills," he said. "It does not need helpers."

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at or (813) 226-3337.

Hospital in mold case puts focus on cancer's toll 02/04/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 7:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Wrestling to return to old Tampa armory — but just for one night

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — For the first time in decades, wrestling will return to the old Ft. Homer W. Hesterly Armory with a reunion show scheduled for late September.

  2. Wanted: New businesses on Safety Harbor's Main Street

    Local Government

    SAFETY HARBOR — A green grocery store, a hardware store, restaurants, boutiques and multi-use buildings are all wanted downtown, according to discussion at a community redevelopment workshop held last week. And to bring them to the Main Street district, city commissioners, led by Mayor Joe Ayoub, gave City Manager …

  3. John Morgan intends to pressure every Florida politician to fund wage initiative


    John Morgan, the publicity-loving personal injury lawyer/entrepreneur who spearheaded the successful medical marijuana initiative, soon plans to start collecting signatures for a 2020 ballot initiative raising Florida minimum wage. He plans to "spend millions of my own money" on the effort, but he also intends to …

  4. Westbound traffic on Courtney Campbell blocked after crash


    Westbound traffic on the Courtney Campbell Causeway is being diverted following a crash early Thursday morning.

  5. Q&A: A business leader and historian jointly delve into Tampa's waterfront


    TAMPA — As a native of Tampa, Arthur Savage has always had a passion for his hometown's history. And as a third-generation owner and operator of A.R. Savage & Son, a Tampa-based shipping agency, his affinity for his hometown also extends to its local waterways.

    Arthur Savage (left) and Rodney Kite-Powell, co-authors of "Tampa Bay's Waterfront: Its History and Development," stand for a portrait with the bust of James McKay Sr. in downtown Tampa on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. McKay, who passed away in 1876, was a prominent businessman, among other things, in the Tampa area. He was Arthur Savage's great great grandfather. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]