Safety Notice

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.

Safety notice FAQs

A Field Safety Notice is a communication from medical equipment manufacturers in relation to one of their devices/products that is in use on the market at a particular time. 

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:

  • A fever or chills lasting more than one week
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Excessive fatigue and/or night sweats
  • Shortness of breath and/or a persistent cough


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. 

No, this cannot be spread by those who have been exposed to or have this infection.

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.

Request for information

Patient details


Postal address

Patient information relating to this safety notice will be posted out to you so please ensure your address is entered correctly.


My address is the same as it was when I had my heart surgery.

Request a call back

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.