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Bacterial infection confirmed in Alberta open-heart surgery patient

Alberta Health Services has confirmed that an adult who had open-heart surgery contracted the bacterial infection Mycobacterium Chimaera. Former open-heart surgery patients were told in December that there was a potential risk of infection through certain heater-cooler units often used to heat and cool blood in cardiac procedures.

They’re used at three facilities in Alberta but AHS won’t say where the bacteria was contracted. Anyone who had a cardiac procedure at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary after Jan. 1, 2013, or at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute or Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton after Jan. 1, 2012, and is worried about their health worsening is asked to contact their health-care provider or family physician.

Notifications were sent out to all patients who had procedures done between January 2012 and December 2016. M. chimaera symptoms can progress over several weeks and can include fever, night sweats, weight loss, muscle aches, fatigue, and heat or pus at the site of the surgical incision.

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