Heater-Cooler Device Used in Open-Heart Surgery Likely Contaminated with Rare Bacteria

October 19, 2016 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Stöckert 3T heater-cooler devices, which are used during open heart surgery, "were likely" contaminated with Mycobacterium chimaera during manufacturing, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alert issued October 13, 2016. Hospitals should notify patients who underwent open heart surgery involving the device, which is manufactured by LivaNova PLC (formerly Sorin Group Deutschland GmbH), about the risk of potential life-threatening infection. Hospitals that used the device are also advised to develop and execute a communication plan for informing exposed patients and increasing awareness among providers. M. chimaera is a species of nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM) commonly found in soil or water. CDC recommendations call for providers to suspect NTM infections in patients with a history of open heart surgery who show signs of infection.

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