In response to a Health Canada advisory, patients who had surgery in BC where heart-lung bypass was required are being notified of a low infection risk.
The risk is associated with a machine used to warm and cool blood during surgery.
Several people in North America have been diagnosed with a rare infection after surgery caused by a type of bacteria.
The infection was traced to the machine.
About 21,000 adult and child patients have had heart, heart transplant or lung transplant surgery in BC since January 1st and will be receiving letters with regards to the risk.
Letters are being issued by Cardiac Services BC and BC’s cardiac centres – Vancouver General Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital (Vancouver), Royal Columbian Hospital (New Westminster), Kelowna General Hospital, Royal Jubilee Hospital (Victoria) and BC Children’s Hospital (Vancouver).