Open Heart

Open Heart Surgery Important Information

We are contacting approximately 2,300 patients who had an open-heart surgery procedure at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in the past four years.

We have learned that three patients who had open-heart surgery during this time became sick with a rare bacterial infection. This type of bacteria is called Nontuberculous Mycobacteria, or NTM. NTM grows slowly and is commonly found in soil and water, including tap water. It is usually not harmful, but in some cases it can cause infections in patients who have had invasive health care procedures – such as open-heart surgery – and those who may have weakened immune systems.

We want to explain what occurred and reassure you that we, along with the physicians and nurses in our organization and community, will do as much as we can to answer your questions and address your concerns.

If you have any other questions or concerns about this matter beyond the information on this site or want to speak with someone about any additional health care evaluations you may need, please call our toll-free line, 1-877-467-7484.

This web page is intended to provide you with the information you need regarding this issue. If you are a patient or medical provider looking for more information, please click the appropriate link below.