Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alberta Health Services Confirms 1 Surgery Patient Infected from Machine

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alberta Health Services Confirms 1 Surgery Patient Infected from Machine

Article excerpt

Health official confirms patient's bacterial infection

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EDMONTON - Alberta Health Services says one patient contracted a bacterial infection associated with a machine that is used during open-heart surgery.

Last December, the health agency notified about 11,500 former open-heart surgery patients of a risk of infection related to potential exposure to bacteria.

The Federal Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control in the U.S., as well as Health Canada, has reported a potential risk for Mycobacterium chimaera infection associated with equipment needed to keep blood and organs at a certain temperature during adult and pediatric open-heart surgery.

Dr. Mark Joffe, a senior medical director with Alberta Health Services, said open-heart surgery is done at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary and at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and the Stollery Children's Hospital, both in Edmonton.

He wouldn't disclose where the infected patient received the surgery, but said all three sites are well aware of the problem with the machine and have taken steps to try to prevent patients from getting the infection.

The patient had surgery one year to 18 months before symptoms showed up. It took another several months before the patient was diagnosed.

Symptoms generally progress over several weeks and may include fever, unexplained, persistent and profuse night sweats, unintentional weight loss, muscle aches, fatigue, and redness, heat or pus at the surgical incision site. …

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