October 2, 1981

Pseudomonas maltophilia Bacteremia in Children Undergoing Open Heart Surgery

Author Affiliations

From the Sections of Infectious Diseases (Drs Fisher and Long) and Cardiovascular Surgery (Drs Dunn and Balsara and Ms Roberts), St Christopher's Hospital for Children, and the Departments of Pediatrics (Drs Fisher and Long) and Surgery (Drs Dunn and Balsara and Ms Roberts), Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

JAMA. 1981;246(14):1571-1574. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320140059032

Pseudomonas maltophilia was isolated from intraoperative blood cultures in eight of 13 children undergoing open heart surgery during a five-week period. Antibiograms were identical and included resistance to prophylactic antibiotics. The source of the outbreak was traced to contamination of both the calibration device used on the pressure monitoring system and the sensor surface of transducers used in this system. In a mock system, calibration with a contaminated device resulted in recovery of the organism from transducer dome fluid. Dye studies confirmed the integrity of the transducer membrane but demonstrated reflux of dome fluid into the monitoring line fluid. A case-control study revealed no patient- or surgery-related factors predisposing to P maltophilia bacteremia and no excess of morbidity or mortality in patients as a result of bacteremia. The outbreak was confined to patients undergoing open heart surgery and was terminated abruptly by sterilization of transducers and revision of the calibration device.

(JAMA 1981;246:1571-1574)