Northern Ireland

Man seriously ill with infection linked to medical equipment

Heart surgery
Image caption Mycobacterium chimaera is an infection that has been linked to medical equipment

A man is seriously ill in hospital in Northern Ireland with a bacterial infection linked to medical equipment.

His is one of 28 known cases in the UK.

On Monday, the Belfast Trust wrote to around 2,000 patients who have had open-heart surgery since 2013 warning them of the potential risk.

The man had heart surgery in 2014. In January, doctors confirmed he had mycobacterium chimaera which is now the subject of a UK-wide investigation being linked to medical equipment.

His family have asked the BBC to protect their identity but say they are keen for the public to realise just how serious this infection can be.

They said that several months after the surgery he developed symptoms associated with the infection and became increasingly ill.

According to the family, their father was told he was the 27th person in the UK to be diagnosed with the infection. Fifteen people have died.

On Monday, the Belfast Health Trust wrote to around 2000 patients warning them of the risk, which they described as low.

However, the family said they were shocked when they read on the BBC News website that no-one had been affected in Northern Ireland.

This was reported following a Belfast Health and Social Care Trust briefing in which the BBC was told they were not aware of any cases having presented in Northern Ireland.

It has emerged that a man is seriously ill in hospital in Northern Ireland with a bacterial infection linked to medical equipment.

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