Latest reports from the United States health officials have revealed that some special heart surgery devices might have been contaminated with life-threatening bacteria.
These heater-coolers are called LivaNove PLC Stockert 3T, and experts suspect they may have been contaminated with bacteria known as Mycobacterium chimaera.
Its name comes from a mythological beast and it usually causes infections that occur after cardiac bypass surgery. Although this infection is not asymptomatic, the incubation periods ranges from one to four years following the surgery.
Also, these infections usually occur on vascular grafts and prosthetic valves. Experts strongly recommend people who have had open heart surgeries to seek medical attention in case they experience symptoms such as fever, fatigue, weight loss, muscle aches, and night sweats.
According to Dr. Michael Bell, CDC’s deputy director of the Healthcare Quality Promotion Division, patients and clinicians must be well-informed about the possible risks of infection.
Plus, every hospital should check their heater-coolers to see whether they are contaminated with the bacteria. If the tests results come positive, patients should be immediately alerted. Based on the statistics, over 250,000 heart bypass surgeries are performed every year across the United States using heat-cooler devices, which in this case might have been contaminated.
The devices are used to maintain the organs and circulating blood’s temperature during the medical procedure. Unfortunately, around 60 percent of these heart surgeries use the heater-coolers which might carry the bacteria.
According to CDC experts, hospitals which have had minimum one reported an infection, the risks of contamination were between one in one thousand. For any additional information and questions regarding this issue, doctors and patients should reach CDC representatives.
The investigation will continue in order to find out how these devices have been contaminated with the bacteria. It is not known yet if these heater-cooler devices were contaminated before they were shipped to the hospitals or after.
Also, experts will double their efforts to tackle this situation by improving the hygiene management of every hospital.
In the case of infection, patients will receive the required medical assistance to get rid of the bacteria as doctors have all the necessary equipment to deal with such heart-surgery related problems.
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