CDC Warns Patients Against Surgeries in Tijuana Linked to Deadly Infections

January 11, 2019 - 11:28 am

(KNX 1070) -- US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Americans who've had surgery in Tijuana, Mexico are returning home with life-threatening antibiotic-resistant infections. 

All of the U.S. residents with the drug-resistant bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa or CRPA had undergone invasive surgical procedures, the CDC said

"About half of those infected with these bacteria had surgery at Grand View Hospital, Tijuana. The others became infected after surgery at other hospitals and clinics. Infections caused by this particular drug-resistant Pseudomonas are rare in the United States and difficult to treat," the CDC report says. 

The CDC recommends that providers who treat patients with a history of surgery in Mexico be aware of the potential exposure pathogens, and consider placing those patients in isolation while waiting for test results. 

According to Patients Beyond Borders, medical tourism is a huge business, with between 14 to 16 million cross-border patients worldwide, spending an average of $3,800 to $6,000 per visit.

It's estimated that in 2017, over a million Americans traveled outside the U.S. for medical care and that patients can save between 40 to 65 percent on medical costs by travelling to Mexico, 65 to 90 percent in India, and 65 to 80 percent in Malaysia. 

Go here to see the CDC's advice for patients considering traveling abroad for medical treatments.