Fungal Contamination Were Found In Saline-Filled Breast Implants. A report in the July 1 Journal of Infectious Diseases confirms that five cases of fungal contamination were found in saline-filled breast implants following corrective surgical procedures.
Investigators from the Tennessee Department of Health found that the black sediment observed in the implants was a fast-growing fungus known as Curvularia, which is usually found in soil.
Five Cases Of Inadequate Infection Control Practices
The five cases were all traced to one particular surgeon who performed the corrective surgeries in a freestanding same-day surgery center. This type of facility is often characterized by inadequate infection control practices because they do not employ infection control experts who ensure that infection control guidelines are being followed.
Some of the problems that were found and which could have contributed to the contamination were negative air pressure in the operating room (relative to the outside surroundings) and warm conditions which support the growth of fungi. The surgeon also filled the contaminated implants by way of an “open bowl” technique which is not proper for purposes of infection control.
According to the investigators, this incident of contamination, though confined to a single surgeon and facility, “provides scientific evidence to support the recommendation that operating rooms should be at positive pressure relative to the surrounding areas and that a “closed system should be used when injecting sterile saline into breast implants.”