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Nontuberculous mycobacteria infections associated with heater-cooler devices

Health Canada has alerted hospitals that a device used to heat and cool the blood during heart surgery has been linked to a rare bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium chimaera, a type of bacteria known as nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). SickKids has notified patients who have had specific surgeries using a heater-cooler device about the potential infection risk related to their surgery. 

For families, the following Frequently Asked Questions will assist in answering questions you may have:

Frequently Asked Questions – General

Frequently Asked Questions – For patients considering cardiac surgery

For community paediatricians and cardiologists who may be approached by families with concerns:

Message to community paediatricians and cardiologists

For additional inquiries, please email heater.cooler@sickkids.ca (and cc riskmanagement.inquiries@sickkids.ca).