LOS ANGELES – This week, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center said that five of their heart patients contracted potentially deadly staph infections after one of their surgeons operated on them with bacteria infected hands.
According to NBC News, last June, the surgeon implanted replacement heart valves into five heart patients with an inflammation on his hand.
The hospital declined to name the surgeon involved.
The surgeon wore gloves, however, the gloves developed microscopic tears. The hospital said that this caused the infection to be passed to the heart patients.
The hospital said that all five of the heart patients became infected with the staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria (staph infection) after their surgery.
According to theLos Angeles Times, four out of the five patients needed a second surgery and are still recovering.
Cedars-Sinai officials told the Los Angeles Times, that the outbreak was a “very unusual occurrence” and was likely due to the nature of the surgery.
Valve replacement requires the surgeon to use thick sutures and tie more than 100 knots. This can cause extra stress on the gloves, officials told the newspaper.
In a statement Sunday, a spokes man for the hospital said:
“We have apologized to the patients involved, worked diligently to answer any questions they have, and provided appropriate follow-up, support and monitoring.”
According to the hospital, the surgeon involved is still on the hospital’s medical staff, but is no longer performing surgeries.
Harry Sax, vice chairman of the hospital’s department of surgery, said that the goal is to have zero infections. He said:
“Any hospital-acquired infection is unacceptable.”