NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - More than a dozen patients suffered a rare infection, while being treated a Children's Hospital, according to the parents of one of the sickened children.
A letter from the hospital indicates several patients who underwent cardiac surgery from early June to July of this year developed a rare surgical site infection caused by a "blood warming machine." It also indicates the infections are treatable. It wants parents or guardians to seek evaluation of wounds.
"This is a form of bacteria usually associated with contaminated tap water," said Dr. Brobson Lutz. "Can it be fatal? Absolutely. And the critical situation if the patient has had heart surgery, and you've got the tissue that's been traumatized in the surgery, you have a direct shot to the heart."
FOX 8 received the following statement from Children's Hospital:
"The organism likes to bury deep, and by the time the symptoms develop, it's well established," Lutz said. "If this is a machine, they should use sterilized water, but there may be other factors involved there."
The hospital said it has called on the Louisiana Office of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control for assistance, and expertise in dealing with the infections.