The University of Tennessee Medical Center Response to CDC Advisory Linking Patient Infections to Potentially Contaminated Heater-Cooler Devices

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an advisory linking patient infections from Mycobacterium chimaera (M.chimaera) to the Stockert 3T Heater–Cooler devises used in open–heart surgery.

“At The University of Tennessee Medical Center, patient safety is our top priority and we take the advisory from the CDC very seriously,” said Dr. Jerry Epps, Chief Medical Officer at the medical center. “We have thoroughly reviewed the CDC materials to determine how they apply to the medical center and our patients.”

“After reviewing our own data, we have found no evidence of any of our patients having been infected with M.chimaera. From information provided by the manufacturer and the FDA, the facilities where infections have occurred did not follow the manufacturer’s policies for cleaning. Cleaning and maintenance procedures performed by UT Medical Center go beyond the manufacturers recommendations,” stated Epps. “Our protocols include using sterile water instead of filtered tap water, as well as daily cleaning of the equipment as opposed to the recommended weekly cleaning. We feel like the risk for this infection occurring at UT Medical Center is nil.”