A SERIES of reports in the United States and Europe have linked Mycobacterium chimaera infections to contaminated heater-cooler devices used during cardiac surgery. Heater-cooler devices commonly are used for cardiopulmonary bypass during cardiac surgery. M. chimaera is a slow-growing nontuberculous mycobacterium that has been shown to cause cardiac complications that can lead to fatal disease following cardiac surgery. Given that more than 250,000 cardiothoracic surgical procedures requiring cardiopulmonary bypass take place each year in the United States, the estimated number of patient exposures to M. chimaera has prompted a public health crisis. The goal of this review is to summarize the present status of the M. chimaera outbreak and provide cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, and other clinicians with current approaches to patient management and to discuss risk mitigation.
- Mycobacterium chimaera
- aerosolized bacteria
- cardiac surgery
- cardiopulmonary bypass
- heater-cooler-associated infections