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Important information for heart surgery patients

Auckland DHB is contacting all patients who have had open heart surgery in which foreign material has been implanted (such as an artificial heart valve) at Auckland City Hospital, Starship Hospital or MercyAscot in the past five years.

In a small number of cases, international regulators have found that the heater-cooler devices that are used to control the patient's body temperature during these operations have been linked to infection caused by a bacteria commonly found in soil and water.

The risk of infection is very small (about 1 in 5000 open heart operations) but as a precautionary measure the approximately 5900 patients throughout New Zealand who have had these surgeries since 2013 are being contacted.

See to find out more information including signs of infection to look out for, what to do if you have concerns and who you can talk to for further information.

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