NTM in cardiac surgery
Heater-cooler devices in cardiac bypass surgery
Risk of Non-tuberculous Mycobacterium (NTM) has been linked to heater-cooler devices used in cardiac bypass surgery.
On 9 February 2018 Waikato DHB wrote to 1,193 patients about a potential risk of infection from heater-cooler devices used in cardiac bypass surgery since 2013. These machines have been linked internationally to a rare bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium chimaera.
- The risk to patients of contacting this infection is very small (about 1 in 5,000).
- Patients who have received letters and have concerns about their health should see their GP in the first instance, or call the DHB hotline on 0800 303 505 or Healthline on 0800 611 116.
There are some useful resources including an FAQ and a video with a cardiac surgeon explaining the situation on Auckland DHB’s website.