Con­tam­i­nated ma­chines linked to heart surgery in­fec­tions

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

NEW YORK: Health of­fi­cials are warning that small out­breaks of in­fec­tions spread by con­tam­i­nated op­er­at­ing room ma­chin­ery dur­ing open-heart surgery could be more wide­spread than first thought. The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion alerted doc­tors and hos­pi­tals on Thurs­day.

The con­tam­i­na­tion has been tied to 28 cases in the US, in­clud­ing at least four who died - though it’s not cer­tain that the bac­te­rial in­fec­tion caused those deaths. But of­fi­cials think hun­dreds or thou­sands of other pa­tients could also have been in­fected. The out­breaks have been tracked to cer­tain heater-cooler de­vices, which are used to keep pa­tients’ hearts cold and bod­ies warm dur­ing some heart op­er­a­tions. The man­u­fac­turer of the de­vices iden­ti­fied the con­tam­i­na­tion in its fac­tory in Ger­many in 2014 and re­port­edly cleaned it up. But bac­te­ria traced to the ma­chines were linked to clus­ters of ill­nesses in Switzer­land, Penn­syl­va­nia, Iowa and Michi­gan. Of­fi­cials think the Stock­ert 3T ma­chines, made by Lon­don-based Li­vaNova, are used in roughly half of the 250,000 car­diopul­monary by­pass op­er­a­tions per­formed in the US each year.

They don’t think in­fec­tion oc­curred in ev­ery­one who had a surgery in which that ma­chine was used. The CDC es­ti­mates that in hos­pi­tals where at least one in­fec­tion has been iden­ti­fied, the risk of a pa­tient get­ting an in­fec­tion from the bac­te­ria was some­where be­tween 1 in 100 and 1 in 1,000. There seems to be a higher risk for pa­tients who had valves or other prod­ucts im­planted, health of­fi­cials said.

Twenty-one Penn­syl­va­nia cases were re­ported by three hos­pi­tals - Wellspan York Hos­pi­tal, Penn State Her­shey Hos­pi­tal and Penn Pres­by­te­rian in Philadel­phia. Five cases were re­ported in Iowa, by the Univer­sity of Iowa and Mercy Med­i­cal Cen­ter. — AP

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