Follow-up testing recommended for former clients of private midwifery services provider

September 15, 2022

CALGARY – Alberta Health Services (AHS) is seeking to notify all individuals who were clients of the Calgary Midwives Collective (CMC) between 2013 and March 2022 of a potential risk of exposure to hepatitis B due to improperly sterilized medical equipment.

“To prevent the spread of infection from one person to another, medical equipment must be cleaned, disinfected and sterilized according to specific health standards,” says Dr. Francesco Rizzuti, Medical Officer of Health, Calgary Zone, AHS.

“As the CMC did not fully adhere to these sterilization processes, individuals who received services through this operation may have been exposed to hepatitis B.”

While the risk to clients is considered very low, AHS is advising all individuals who received prenatal, delivery and/or post-natal care services through the CMC to call their physician to arrange for simple, confidential testing. Potentially affected individuals may also call Health Link at 811 on a 24/7 basis to arrange testing, or with any questions or concerns.

The CMC operated at 306, 1010 1 Ave. N.E., in Calgary. As this midwifery practice is no longer operational, there is no ongoing risk to the public.

The breach was discovered during a site inspection prompted by a public masking complaint. This inspection resulted in a lack of confidence that proper sterilization of medical equipment was being attained. As such, a closure order was issued to the CMC on March 31, 2022.

Following AHS-provided education to the owner/operator on proper sterilization practices and the implementation of single-use disposable medical devices, the closure order was lifted and the practice resumed operations until voluntarily closing.

CMC held a midwifery services agreement with AHS from 2013-2022. As part of that agreement, midwifery practices are required to adhere to specific sterilization standards and practices. AHS is working collaboratively with the College of Midwives of Alberta (CMA) to ensure a thorough review of this matter is completed.

To protect patient privacy and confidentiality, AHS cannot provide further detail relating to the individuals impacted.