Public Notice for Open Heart Surgery Patients

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Mississippi Baptist Medical Center is notifying patients who have had open-heart surgery about a potential infection risk related to this surgery.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating reports that a device used to heat and cool the blood during surgery has been linked to a rare bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium chimaera, a type of bacteria known as nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM). For patients who have had one of these surgeries, the chances of getting this infection are very low. CDC estimates the risk to be less than 1 percent. 

This infection is very slow growing and difficult to diagnose. It is possible to develop symptoms years after surgery, so it is important to know the symptoms to look for.  Discuss any symptoms or questions you may have with your primary care doctor. This infection cannot be spread person-to-person.

Symptoms of an NTM infection include:

  • night sweats
  • muscle aches
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • unexplained fever

We understand that patients and their families might have additional questions or concerns about this information. To help answer them, we have established a hotline at 601-973-4577.  The hotline will be available February 7, 2017 through February 28, 2017.

Additional information may be found online at the following links:

From the FDA:

From the CDC:


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