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Important information for Erlanger open heart surgery patients

This only applies to patients who had open heart surgery at Erlanger January 2012 – September 2016.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating reports linking a rare bacterial infection to a device commonly used across the country to regulate body temperature during open heart surgery. Although the risk of getting this infection is very low (CDC estimates < 1 percent) the CDC and FDA are recommending that we notify patients who had surgery using one of these devices. If you had open heart surgery at Erlanger January 2012 – September 2016 you will receive a letter from the hospital with additional information and further instructions.

While the potential for infection exists, out of the hundreds of patients who had open heart surgery at Erlanger, none have been found to have developed this infection.

Due to the slow growing nature of the bacteria, it can take months or years to develop signs of infection. This is why it is important to know what to watch for and to discuss any symptom or questions you have with your doctor. Symptoms may include; night sweats, muscle aches, weight loss, fatigue, drainage from your surgical wound, and fever.

For additional information from the CDC watch this video message from Michael Bell, MD, CDC’s Deputy Director of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion.

CLICK HERE to download a pdf of this message