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Infections Related to Heater-Cooler Devices

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have asked STS to help distribute important information regarding the use of heater-cooler devices during major surgeries. Rare nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM) infections have been linked to these devices. 

NTM infections can take months to cause symptoms. Signs of a possible NTM infection may include:

• Fatigue
• Fever
• Pain
• Redness, heat, or pus at the surgical site
• Muscle pain
• Joint pain
• Night sweats
• Weight loss
• Abdominal pain
• Nausea
• Vomiting

If you have had open-chest surgery and are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider.

CDC video featuring Michael Bell, MD, Deputy Director of the Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion, explains what patients need to know about this situation.

FDA web page that includes information for patients in a question-and-answer format.

Read the joint cardiac and thoracic surgery society statement on the infections related to heater-cooler devices used in cardiac surgery.

For more information, read the blog article, What You Should Know About Infections Related to Heater-Cooler Devices Used During Heart Surgery.