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Children’s responds to national CDC health alert regarding device used during open heart surgery

National news stories in October 2016, highlighted that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Health Alert Notice that the The Stockert 3T heater-coolers, a device commonly used during open chest procedures, could have been contaminated with the bacteria Nontuberculous Mycobaterium (NTM) during the manufacturing process.

At Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, our goal is to provide the best and safest care and communicate openly with families. Even though we do not believe any of our patients are at risk, we wanted our patients and families to be aware of the alert and to know that we have replaced and are no longer using these devices.

In rare cases, this bacteria can cause infections in patients. The chance of getting this infection is very low. The CDC estimates the risk to be between .01 and 1 percent. In fact, we are not aware of any Children’s patients developing this infection since we began using the device. We have shared this information directly with families we serve so that they are aware of the steps we have taken to provide the best possible care we can.

This bacteria is very slow growing and infection cannot be spread person-to-person. Symptoms of an NTM infection include night sweats, muscle aches, weight loss, fatigue and unexplained fever.

If you are concerned about your child’s health, contact your primary care doctor’s office.

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