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Autopsy: Patient Died From Mold Linked To Other Deaths

PITTSBURGH (AP) - An autopsy report for a transplant patient who contracted a fungal infection while at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center indicates he suffered from the same type of mold linked to other deaths.

A UPMC spokeswoman had said the death of Daniel Krieg was not directly related to the fungal infection but was caused by pneumonia.

Krieg, 56, became the fifth known UPMC patient with a fungal infection to die since 2014 amid a federal investigation into mold cases at the health system's facilities.

An autopsy obtained by The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review listed the cause of death as "multiorgan failure due to sepsis due to pneumonia." UPMC Dr. Penny Sappington wrote in the report that he suffered from bacterial and fungal pneumonia. A removed lobe of his lung contained rhizopus, a form of mold.

UPMC officials declined to comment Wednesday.

Krieg, of Elks County, died July 9 at UPMC Presbyterian. His lawyer, Brendan Lupetin, said Krieg had a successful kidney transplant in July 2015, but returned to the hospital in March. He did not leave the hospital before he died.

"The Krieg family feels vindicated that UPMC's own pathologists have confirmed what the family had said all along - a necrotizing fungal infection that Dan Krieg contracted while admitted to UPMC was a major contributing cause of his death," Lupetin said Wednesday.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said the four previous organ transplant patients who developed mold infections at UPMC likely got it from time spent in a "negative pressure" room normally reserved for those who already had infections.

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