There are chances of catching an infection from the medical equipment or device used during the surgical procedures. Heater-cooler units are essential parts of heart-related, life-saving surgeries. They regulate patients’ body temperature during surgical procedures. The bacteria on a medical device that can travel through the air are strong enough to contaminate the operating room. They can further contaminate a patient’s surgical wound during the surgery itself. As the study revealed, the bacteria caused serious, rare infections in patients. Notably, these infections can take years to develop in patient’s body. The risk of getting infected with Heater-cooler device-related infection is rare, but the risk exists.

What are common symptoms and possible treatments?

The observed bacteria are called Nontuberculous Mycobacteria(NTM). One startling fact about NTMs is that they may remain quiet in the patient’s body for up to 72 months. Generally, symptoms begin to develop 17 months after a patient is infected. Now, this may make diagnosis challenging. Patients should be aware about some common symptoms which can be sweating, fever, cough, fatigue, breath shortness, and even weight loss. The treatment of these infections consists of some antibiotics for a few months. In addition to this, patient may have to get infected heart grafts, valves and other devices removed through the surgical procedure.

Strategies to mitigate risk

  1. Use distilled water.
  2. After every use, clean and disinfect the device surface.
  3. Prior to each connection, disinfect the tubing connectors on the heater-cooler and disinfect the fittings and connectors on the tubing.
  4. Use disinfectant wipes as well as sprays that are approved.
  5. Remove liquid spills from the device surface as quickly as possible.
  6. Remove any contamination using pre-soaked disinfectant wipes.
  7. It is important to disinfect the water circuits every 14 days, irrespective of the water changes.
  8. If you need to monitor the water for bacteria or NTM, make sure to take water samples before and after you disinfect the system.
  9. Hospitals are now developing strategies to identify infections and monitor patients at risk. They also inform patients about the potential risk of infections so as to prevent the disease.
  10. Awareness on patient’s part is essential.
  11. Patients should make sure to get possible exposure to infections monitored by anInfectious Disease Specialist.
  1. High-level disinfection iscrucial to mitigate this possibility. For this, user manual for specific models should be referred to.

Medinnova is a medical equipment company in India having a wide range of Heart-cooler for Heart-lung machines for use during Cardiopulmonary Bypass, available in various brands. It provides precise temperature control. Call today at +91-9512106062 or send us an email at