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Heart surgeries back

McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden will resume heart surgeries today, following a two-week break to get a handle on the cause of a series of infections.

Terry Behunin, spokesman for the hospital, said staffers "noticed a bump in the normal infection rate" a couple of weeks ago when two cardiac surgery patients developed severe infections. The cardiac surgical unit was shut down to try to find the problem, then three more cardiac patients developed infections.

For two weeks, the hospital has been cleaning the area and testing for staph following Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

Although no operating room in the hospital is designated specifically for cardiac cases, one gets used that way more often, Behunin said, and all five patients had their surgeries in that room. It's also used for other surgeries, but only the cardiac patients have had trouble with the mysterious infection.

Now officials have deemed it safe to reopen the room and resume the heart surgery procedures.