Children infected with rare drug-resistant bacteria during open-heart surgeries at Children’s Hospital

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NEW ORLEANS - Children undergoing open-heart surgery were exposed to a rare type of drug-resistant bacteria earlier this year at Children’s Hospital.

A piece of equipment used to regulate the body temperature of patients during open-heart surgery is thought to have been the source of the bacteria, which is found in water, soil, and dust, according to Children’s Hospital.

The infections occurred between May and July of this year in patients who underwent cardiac surgery at the Uptown not-for-profit regional pediatric medical center.

The patients began developing bacterial infections last month.

A press release posted to the hospital’s website on September 11 described the infections, thought to be caused by a rare type of drug-resistant bacteria called Mycobacterium abscessus.

The bacteria species contaminated the temperature regulation equipment used when the young patients were undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass, according to Children’s Hospital.

The equipment and the room it was in have both been disinfected, and the bacteria showed no signs of spreading beyond the equipment.

The patients who were infected are all being treated at Children’s Hospital for no additional cost, according to the hospital.


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