Information for Cardiac Surgery Patients

By Staff Reports on January 26, 2017

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

News outlets are reporting about a potential infection related to heater-cooler devices used for cardiac surgery. Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System heart experts have been monitoring this situation and are working to notify patients about this potential risk, which the CDC estimates could affect less than 1 percent of heart surgery patients.

To date, there have been no suspected or confirmed infections related to heater-cooler devices among SRHS's patients.

SRHS is reaching out to more than 2,000 patients who had open-heart surgery between 2012 and 2016 at Spartanburg Medical Center, one of SRHS’s four hospitals. In addition, SRHS is replacing all of the at-risk heater-cooler devices.

Here’s the statement from the CDC:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning healthcare providers and patients about the potential risk of infection from certain devices used during open heart (open-chest) surgery.

Patients who have had open heart surgery should seek medical care if they are experiencing symptoms associated with infections, such as night sweats, muscle aches, weight loss, fatigue, or unexplained fever. This advice follows new information indicating that some LivaNova PLC (formerly Sorin Group Deutschland GmbH) Stöckert 3T heater-cooler devices, used during many of these surgeries, might have been contaminated during manufacturing which could put patients at risk for life-threatening infections.

More than 250,000 heart bypass procedures using heater-cooler devices are performed in the United States every year. Heater-cooler units are an essential part of these life-saving surgeries because they help keep a patient’s circulating blood and organs at a specific temperature during the procedure. Approximately 60 percent of heart bypass procedures performed in the U.S. utilize the devices that have been associated with these infections. CDC estimates that in hospitals where at least one infection has been identified, the risk of a patient getting an infection from the bacteria was between about 1 in 100 and 1 in 1,000. While these infections can be severe, and some patients in this investigation have died, it is unclear whether the infection was a direct cause of death. Available information suggests that patients who had valves or prosthetic products implanted are at higher risk of these infections.

Back to Haiti

By Ruth Stanton, CNM on March 16, 2017

Editor’s note: Ruth Stanton is a certified nurse midwife with Medical Group of the Carolinas-Center for OB/GYN. She is preparing for her third trip to Haiti as part of the nonprofit organization Midwives for Haiti. Here, she shares about her previous experiences. Haiti has the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere, and a huge reason is that only about 10 percent of all the women having babies have the assistance of a medically-trained birth attendant like a doctor o...

You Don’t Want to Miss This!

By Sarah Howell on February 27, 2017

Don’t miss Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s March events. This month, learn about hospice, how to increase your physical ability, and about how to breastfeed your baby. TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Mondays March, 5:30 – 7 p.m. Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute Maintaining a healthy weight after completing cancer treatment can be challenging. With the proper tools and support, you can achieve your weight-loss goals. TOPS is a weight-loss support g...