Non-tuberculous Mycobacterium infections associated with heater cooler devices

Key actions that Australian health service organisations should take in relation to heater-cooler devices used during cardiac surgery.

There is a risk that heater cooler devices used in cardiac surgery may be contaminated with Mycobacterium or other water-borne non-Mycobacterium species. Exposure of patients to the aerosolised exhaust from these devices may cause infection which may not be clinically apparent for several years after exposure.

Health service organisations should use this guidance in conjunction with safety notices, alerts and other advice provided by their state and territory health authorities and the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare.

For more information visit the Therapeutic Goods Administration website.