Heart Diseases: Medical Equipment

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 26th June 2018.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have (a) been affected by contaminated heart surgery devices and (b) died as a result of such contamination in each of the last five years.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

As of 1 March 2018, there were 39 cases in the United Kingdom of Mycobacterium chimaera (M. chimaera) infection following surgery on cardiopulmonary bypass since 2007, of which 22 are known to have died.

The risk of infection is relatively low and control measures have been put in place. Public Health England, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the National Health Service across the United Kingdom have recognised this issue and have been working together in close collaboration with the clinical community and manufacturers, since it was identified. This has been to ensure appropriate and proportionate measures were taken to protect patients, while ensuring the maintenance of lifesaving cardiac surgical services.

Public Health England has also published guidance and advice for health professionals on M. chimaera infections associated with cardiopulmonary bypass.

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