Hospitals in Ireland have been notified of an international Field Safety Notice that has been issued regarding a piece of medical equipment (commonly called a heater-cooler device) that can be used during open heart surgeries. This Field Safety Notice has been issued due to the possible link between the heater-cooler devices and a very low risk bacterial infection. As a precaution, we are contacting all patients who have had open heart surgery involving this medical equipment at the Mater Hospital in the last 5 years.
Heater-cooler devices are commonly used during cardiothoracic (open heart and chest) surgeries to warm or cool a patient during the surgery. The heater-cooler devices include water tanks that provide temperature-controlled water within closed circuits. Although the water in the circuits does not come into direct contact with the patient, it has been discovered that there is a potential for water containing bacteria to enter other parts of the device or to disperse as a gas into the air through the device’s exhaust vent and into the surrounding environment.
The hospital has taken a precautionary measure and purchased all new heater-cooler devices, with patient safety and health being our priority. We have openly discussed any identified cases of the infection with affected patients to date as is our policy, and have also consulted with the HSE for recommendations, all of which have been implemented in the hospital.
Symptoms may include:
If you have any concerns about your post-operative health in relation to this Field safety Notice, we recommend that you first contact your GP and he/she will determine if you need any follow up tests or a referral to your consultant at the Mater Hospital. These infections are treatable with antibiotics.
If you are a patient who had open heart surgery at the Mater Hospital in the last 5 years, please complete the below form to ensure we have your correct contact details to enable us to contact you. You can also request a call back from a member of our Cardiothoracic Team if you have concerns or queries relating to your surgery and this notice.