Child heart patients treated for surgical infectionSeptember 12, 2017 9:27pm

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — At least a dozen children who had heart surgery at Children's Hospital New Orleans between late May and July have infected incisions, apparently from contaminated equipment.

The infections were linked to a machine that regulates a patient's temperature during heart surgery, said Dr. John Heaton, the hospital's senior vice president and chief medical officer. The machine was replaced and patients are responding to intravenous antibiotics, he said.

He said 55 children had heart surgery between those days, and the hospital wrote and phoned all of their families. Seven of the 12 patients were identified through that outreach, he said. Heaton said a handful who have had only a phone screening so far will see doctors this week in northwest Louisiana.

The hospital began investigating after doctors reported three incision infections within 72 hours, all in children who had heart surgery at Children's, Heaton said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes the bacteria in question on its website as common in water, soil and dust. It says contaminated medical devices can infect the skin and soft tissues under the skin.

Heaton said that the bacteria were quickly identified as mycobacteria, leading investigators to check out the heating and cooling unit because such units had been linked to other outbreaks.

Doctors at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, reported this year that 12 of 24 patients who were infected between December 2014 and June 2015 had undergone heart surgery in an outbreak that ended when sterile water was used in bypass machines' heater-cooler units. The germ, called Mycobacterium abscessus, was the same as that at Children's.

The Food and Drug Administration reported last October that a certain model of bypass machines' heater-cooler units had been linked to infections with a related germ, Mycobacterium chimaera. That model was used at Children's Hospital.

Heaton said the hospital previously had used tap water in its unit but followed those FDA guidelines and, among other things, switched to filtered water. It has now replaced that model with one made by another company, he said.

The hospital is paying for treatment of the infections and related costs, such as parents' hotel rooms and meals, he said.

Since the infection was transmitted from hospital equipment, neither the patients nor their insurance companies should pay, he said.

"We're picking that up and making it right. ... We're going to try and make this as bearable as possible," he said.

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

A demonstrator carries a sign during a march outside federal court in New Orleans, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. With immigrants and their advocates chanting and beating drums outside, a federal appeals court heard arguments Friday on whether it should allow a Texas law aimed at combatting "sanctuary cities" to immediately take effect. (AP Photo/Stacey Plaisance Jenkins)
Texas asks court to allow its ban on 'sanctuary cities'
The Latest: About 100 demonstrators chant 'shut it down'Attorneys for Texas are asking a federal appeals court in New Orleans to let the state's law banning "sanctuary cities" take effect
Dump truck runs over worker inside of portable toiletAuthorities say a construction crew member who was using a portable toilet was accidentally rolled over by a dump truck driver while working at an expansion project at the New Orleans airport
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined by, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters as he pushes a last-ditch effort to uproot former President Barack Obama's health care law, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Republicans see political necessity in health care effort
FILE - In this June 9, 2017 file photo, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is shown during an interview in Sacramento, Calif. Gatorade has agreed not to make disparaging comments about water as part of a $300,000 settlement reached Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, with California over allegations it misleadingly portrayed waters' benefits in a cellphone game where users refuel Olympic runner Usain Bolt. The dispute between the sports-drink company and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was settled in less than day after Becerra filed a complaint in Los Angeles County. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
Gatorade pays California $300K, settles anti-water complaint
Leaders highlight early education for drug misuse preventionNew Hampshire's political and law enforcement leaders come together to promote early education to prevent substance misuse
This component is currently unavailable.

Related Searches

Related Searches