Department Warns of Mexican Surgery Infection Risks

Department Warns of Mexican Surgery Infection Risks

March 5, 2019

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is warning residents about possibly increased infection risks linked to surgeries at a Mexican hospital.

Since October 2018 several cases of antibiotic-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterial infections have been identified by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) among residents after surgery in Tijuana, Mexico, mostly at Grand View Hospital. The CDC notified WDH that approximately eight Wyoming residents recently had weight loss surgery at this facility through trips arranged by Weightlossagents.com, a medical travel company.

“While we expect these residents were told of the situation by the travel company, we have been unable to follow up with them directly,” said Clay Van Houten, Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit manager with WDH. “Because Mexican health officials found potential infection control and equipment sterilization issues at this hospital, we are also concerned about increased risk of hepatitis B and C and HIV infections.”

WDH recommends anyone who had surgery at Grand View Hospital on or after August 1, 2018 to:

  • Seek immediate medical attention if they experience any signs of infection such as fever, or redness, pus or swelling at their surgical incision site.
  • Contact their healthcare provider or local public health office to get tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.

“Antibiotic-resistant infections are a serious and growing concern,” Van Houten said. “We know some people who travel outside the United States for medical procedures return with antibiotic-resistant bacteria not common in our communities.”

“Wyoming residents should follow CDC warnings and avoid surgical procedures at this particular hospital,” Van Houten said.

“Healthcare standards abroad may be different than what we expect in the United States. We encourage anyone planning a surgical procedure in another country to thoroughly research the healthcare provider who will perform the procedure as well as the facility where they will receive care,” Van Houten said.

More CDC information is available about the current outbreak at https://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/pseudomonas-aeruginosa.html and https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/drug-resistant-infections-mexico.