Focus: Infection Control

New Orleans hospital patient infections linked to contaminated heater-cooler

September 25, 2017

Twelve cardiac surgery patients at Children's Hospital in New Orleans contracted a rare surgical site infection linked to a contaminated heater cooler device, according to an article on The New Orleans Advocate website.

The infections were caused by mycobacterium abscessus bacteria, which are commonly found in soil, water and dust. The infected children were treated between early June and July.

An investigation linked the bacteria to a contaminated heater-cooler unit used in a single operating room, which the hospital has since replaced. 

"This room has been terminally disinfected and our ongoing environmental surveillance of the operating rooms has not shown any contamination with the organism beyond the involved device," the hospital said in a statement.

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