During many surgeries, including open-heart surgery, a medical device called a heater-cooler is used to raise or lower the body temperature of the patient. However, heater-coolers made by Sorin, now LivaNova, called the Stockert 3T, can spread infection to patients. If they become contaminated, these devices can pass mycobaterium chimaera, or M. Chimaera for short, which can cause nontuberculous mycobaterium infections, or NTM.
These devices may have been in use at Adena Hospital in Chillicothe, Ohio, among other hospitals in Central Ohio.
What does it mean to me:
Symptoms of mycobaterium infection may not show up for several weeks, but include fatigue, cough with blood, difficulty breathing, joint or muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, night sweats, and weight loss.