Mycobacterium chimaera infection - Heater-cooler units

You may have seen reports related to the potential risk for Mycobacterium chimaera infection associated with certain heater-cooler units, which are used to warm and cool blood during adult and pediatric open heart surgery. AHS has used and does use these heater cooler units at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary and at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.

In December 2016, Alberta Health Services (AHS) notified media, public and former open heart surgery patients about the potential risk of infection related to exposure to M. chimaera through the use of certain heater cooler units commonly used to heat and cool the blood in cardiac procedures.

On May 9th, 2017, AHS reported a confirmed case of M. chimaera in Alberta and updated information related to risk. For more information, please contact Health Link at 811.

Information for patients and family members

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