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Heart Surgery Linked to Infection Risk • Mirror Daily

Patients can get infected with bacteria after going through heart surgery.

(Mirror Daily, United States) The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recently announced that there is a risk of infection with patients who undergo heart surgery. It seems like the medical devices are contaminated with bacteria that could trigger fatal health complications. Specialists explain that this is a manufacturing fault.

Health experts made the official announcement on October 13. According to them, the warning applies to patients who had heart surgery during the last four years. So the manufacturing fault is concerned with medical devices produced starting 2012.

Statistics show that there are about half a million people in the United States who face the risk of infections because of the bad quality of medical appliances. However, specialists explain that these health complications are extremely rare. Nevertheless, they are dangerous and could lead to the patients’ death.

There were less than thirty infection cases reported in several states in the U.S. in 2015. However, such diagnoses were also set in European countries. Doctors explain that symptoms or the identification of the condition can take years before being established.

The symptoms of the disease are misleading, as the specialists explain. Former heart surgery patients who experience fever, fatigue or night sweats can be diagnosed with a series of different conditions. This is why the infection is quite difficult to track.

The bacterium which causes the disease is called nontuberculous mycobacterium. It is dangerous only if it gets in people’s organisms, and it especially affects those with weak immune systems.

Official sources state that medical devices produced in Germany are to blame. Heater-cooler units are devices which help doctors during heart surgeries. They are meant to control the patient’s body temperature and are widely used for open heart procedures.

Specialists believe that the infected devices are used with about two hundred fifty patients every year. This means that most of these people are exposed to the risk of fatal infections. More than half of the procedures require the use of the German heater-cooler units.

Officials at the CDC have been having doubts about the quality of the devices for over a year. They have been trying to raise awareness about the potential risk of infection with these medical appliances. However, it is now that genetic tests showed that the risk is real.

Some of the patients acknowledged the risk, as health experts say. However, they think that there are much more potential cases than initially believed. Doctors are doing their best to diminish the risk of infection during surgery by keeping a minimal contact between patients and the devices.

Image courtesy of: Wikipedia

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