3T Heater-Cooler Contamination and Infection [Infographic]
How a 3T Heater-Cooler Unit Works
3T Heater-Cooler Units/Devices have water tanks that provide temperature-controlled water to external heat exchangers or warming/cooling blankets through closed circuits. Contaminated water from inside the device can aerosolize as it travels through the closed circuits.
Contamination Within the Operating Room
The device’s fan and exhaust vent can push contaminated aerosol into the operating room, which can potentially get into the patient’s open chest cavity during surgery. Some 3T heater-cooler devices were found to have been contaminated with Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) at the manufacturing plant and shipped to hospitals for use in surgery.