1,300 open-heart surgery patients warned about infection

    A central Pennsylvania hospital is warning patients who had open-heart surgery over the past few years that they may have been exposed to bacterial infection.

    York Hospital said the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked heater-cooler devices used during surgery to infections in eight patients, four of whom have died.

    The hospital is notifying about 1,300 patients who had surgery at the hospital between October 2011 and late July in 2015.

    WellSpan Health said it has addressed the issue and there is currently no risk of bacterial exposure at York Hospital. Patients who had other heart procedures aren’t at risk.

    The company said the patients who died had complex conditions and their deaths hadn’t been directly linked to the infection, but it was “likely a contributing factor.”

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