This week a Pennsylvania hospital disclosed there had been 4 deaths that might be linked to a bacterial organism contracted during open heart surgery.

There are as many as 1300 patients in the same hospital that may have been exposed to the same bacteria. The hospital has acknowledged that the infection was probably a contributing factor in the 4 deaths.

The bacteria is a non-tuberculous mycobacterium and appears to infect patients by escaping from the contaminated devices that heat or cool a patient during open heart surgery.