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CDC Health Alert Notice: Heater-Cooler Devices

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have found a link between devices used to heat and cool the blood during open-heart surgery and a rare infection caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium chimaera, a type of nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM). For patients who have had open-heart surgeries, the chances of getting this infection are very low; the CDC estimates the risk to be less than 1 percent.

UI Health is not aware of any infections associated with our facility or whether the device we used in the past was contaminated, but in an abundance of caution in accordance with the CDC's and FDA's suggestion, we are notifying patients who have had open-heart surgery as a precaution.

Patients who had open heart surgery at UI Health between January 2012 and August 2016 will receive a letter from our care team. The letter will instruct them to call a dedicated line, and a nurse coordinator will guide them through a script of questions to identify symptoms and next steps, if needed.

If you have any questions, or you received a letter and need to set up an evaluation, please call 312.355.5720 or 855.456.3493. For more information, please visit the CDC.