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Heater-cooler systems in the news: Info for parents of children who’ve had cardiac surgery

You may have recently read reports about serious infections linked to heater-cooler systems used in some heart surgeries. The Stöckert 3 system has been linked to Non-Tuberculous Mycobacterium (NTM) infections in a small number of patients in the U.S.A and Québec.

Please keep in mind:

CHEO/OCTC doesn’t use the Stöckert 3 water heater-cooler system. The only reported cases of NTM infection have involved the Stöckert 3T water heater-cooler systems. We use a Jostra water heater-cooler system at CHEO/OCTC.

There have been no infections linked to the system used at CHEO/OCTC. The system we use has a very different design, which makes the spread of this infection very unlikely.

We’re stepping up precautions anyway.

  1. We have always carefully followed the manufacturer’s directions for disinfecting our heater-cooler systems.
  2. Even though we haven’t had any of these infections in our patients, we have also started following the enhanced sterilization protocol for the Stöckert 3T systems since September.
  3. We are testing our units for NTM, as a precaution. We have not detected any NTM in our heater-cooler systems.

For more information, please contact Tara Girolamo (cardiovascular clinical nurse) at 613-737-7600 ext. 3639 or

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