Notice to Patients: Risk of Contamination from Open-Heart-Surgery Devices


Hospitals around the world have been informed of the risk of bacteria in the devices used in open-heart surgery requiring a heart-lung machine.  

Affected devices may have been contaminated by the bacterium Mycobacterium chimaera during their manufacture in Germany.

In Québec, hospitals that perform heart surgery have implemented several measures to ensure the safety of their patients. These include sending out a notice to patients who have had open-heart surgery within the past 5 years. If this pertains to­ you, you will have received, or will soon receive, a letter from the hospital where you had your surgery.

Hospitals that perform heart surgery

  • Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM)
    • Hôtel-Dieu
    • Hôpital Notre-Dame
  • Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine (HSJ) 
  • Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS)
  • McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)
    • Montreal General Hospital
    • Royal Victoria Hospital
    • Montreal Children’s Hospital
  • CHU de Québec − Université Laval
    • Centre hospitalier de l’Université Laval (CHUL)
  • Hôpital de Chicoutimi
  • Jewish General Hospital (JGH)
  • Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal (HSC)
  • Montreal Heart Institute (MHI)
  • Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec (IUCPQ)

Patients Concerned

If you had open-heart surgery but have not received a letter, verify if you are one of the patients concerned.

When to Consult

If you do not have symptoms, the bacterium is undetectable.

However, if you meet the following 2 criteria:

  • You had open-heart surgery in one of the hospitals mentioned
  • You have had the following symptoms for more than a week:
    • Fever
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Joint and muscle pain
    • Night sweats
    • Unexplained fatigue

verify if you are one of the patients concerned. If you are, contact the hospital where you had your open-heart surgery.

If you had open-heart surgery and have questions or concerns regarding your health and risk of infection from the bacterium Mycobacterium chimaera, contact Info-Santé 8-1-1.


The risk of infection by the bacterium Mycobacterium chimaera is very low. The infection develops slowly and is not contagious. It is diagnosed through lab analysis (microbiology) when symptoms appear.


The infection is cured with several weeks of antibiotics.

Useful Link

Select the hospital where you had your open-heart surgery

Last update: November 4, 2016 8:49 AM


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