The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday warned that contaminated medical devices used in open-heart surgeries could be to blame for a rash of infections in patients in the United States and Europe.
Data published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report indicate that at least 11 patients in the US were infected with bacteria from a heater-cooler device that maintains patients’ internal temperatures during surgery. Previous reports indicated that six people in Switzerland were infected, and dozens of Americans have come forward with symptoms.
CDC issued an advisory for health care providers, and urged patients who have had open-heart surgery to seek medical care if they are experiencing symptoms associated with infections. The agency estimated that some 250,000 patients undergo surgeries using the device every year.