11 Investigates: Another UPMC transplant patient died after contracting fungal infection

Elk County man dies after contracting fungal infection at UPMC

OAKLAND, Pa. — The family of a man who died at UPMC Montefiore after contracting a fungal infection hired an attorney.

Attorney Brendan Lupetin says the death of David Kreig, 55, of Elk County, was caused by mold, but UPMC said his cause of death was something else.

Kreig had been admitted to the hospital in March, seven months after undergoing a successful kidney transplant last July.

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"Some member of his family was with him every single day of his 100-day admission, from the time he went in until the time he died on Saturday," said Lupetin. "They were with him and they saw everything he went through without this."

His family's attorney said he was put into a negative pressure room at UPMC Montefiore, the same kind of room linked to the deaths of several other UPMC patients.

"His lungs were now infiltrated with the same type of fungus Che Duvall had been affected with and a very similar fungus that the other patients in this outbreak had been affected with," said Lupetin.

UPMC says the negative pressure technology was not activated in Kreig's case and attributes his death to pneumonia, not the fungal infection.

UPMC spokeswoman Allison Hydzik released the following statement:

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Mr. Krieg. His death was not directly related to the fungal infection, but rather can be attributed to pneumonia. Our partners at the state and federal level have been notified and we continue to work with them to better understand and learn from the course of Mr. Krieg's illness."

Since 2014, four other transplant patients, including Che Duvall, have died at UPMC Prebyterian and UPMC Montefiore hospitals from fungal infections.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report from December recommended UPMC stop putting patients with weakened immune systems in negative pressure rooms.