A Queensland hospital has defended its clinical procedures after a patient died from a fungal infection earlier this year.
Radiographer Jurgen Zoller died after contracting Fusarium Solani following a bone marrow transplant at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) in March.
It follows two separate patient deaths at the Prince Charles Hospital that could be linked to a separate infection cluster.
Widow Dani Zoller-Bellette has demanded an urgent overhaul of transplant safety protocols at the hospital.
“I can’t really put into words what we’re going through. It’s horrific,” she said.
“We need to stop other patients from dying, other families from going through what we’re going through.”
The 57-year-old’s transplant took place on March 7.
His family said that while he was recovering in hospital, he began breaking out in sores and lesions eventually losing his eyesight on March 26.
Tests were conducted, and late on April 1, his family was told he had a fungal infection.
He died on April 3.
His wife claims they were never informed of the risks of fungal infections, and believes the hospital was slow to act when his condition deteriorated.
“We were given roughly 30-something hours to get our head around the fact that Jurgen was going to die and they couldn’t do anything about it,” Zoller-Bellette said.
Shine Lawyers are investigating Zoller’s case.
“We also need to investigate when results were known, and treatment implemented, whether that was done fast enough and correctly,” Shine Lawyers’ Medical Law Practice Leader Wendy Nixson said.
RBWH Cancer Care Services Executive Director Glen Kennedy said Metro North Health had not identified any source within the hospital of Zoller’s infection.
He said he wasn’t part of any ‘cluster’, and the fungus is in no way linked to the five transplant patients who contracted fungal infections at the Prince Charles Hospital.
“We are very confident in our protocols,” Kennedy said.
“We have not identified any hospital source of this fungal infection.
“Bone marrow transplantation and transplantation in QLD is safe. Their care is safe, and that the best possible care and the best possible outcomes applies to the protocols.”