Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System warns 2k patients of heater-cooler-related infection risks

Though no patients at Spartanburg (S.C.) Regional Healthcare System have developed an infection, the system is still notifying more than 2,000 patients of an infection risk related to a specific device used in cardiac surgeries.

SRHS is notifying patients who had open-heart surgery at one of its four hospitals between 2012 and 2016 because the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration have linked heater-cooler devices used during those surgeries to bacterial infections.

SRHS is also replacing all of the at-risk heater-cooler devices.

According to the CDC, Stöckert 3T heater-cooler devices, made by LivaNova, appear to have been contaminated during manufacturing and are putting patients at risk for nontuberculous mycobacterium, or NTM, infections, which can be life-threatening.

This is the second South Carolina health system to report this week they were notifying at-risk patients: Charleston-based Medical University of South Carolina announced earlier it was warning about 3,000 patients of the device-associated infection risk.

Several other hospitals across the nation are also issuing similar warnings. The CDC estimates the contaminated heater-coolers are used in about 60 percent of bypass procedures in the U.S. annually.

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