WARNING Contaminated Heater-Cooler Devices During Open Heart Surgery can cause Infection or even Death
The CDC has warned hospitals and patients about the potential risk of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) infections from certain heater-cooler devices used during open-heart (open-chest) surgery.
This advice follows information indicating that some LivaNova PLC (formerly Sorin Group Deutschland GmbH) Stöckert 3T heater-cooler devices, used during many open-heart surgeries, might have been contaminated during manufacturing which could put patients at risk for life-threatening infections.
More than 250,000 heart bypass procedures using heater-cooler devices are performed in the United States every year, and in approximately 60% of these procedures the devices that have been associated with these infections were utilized. Heater-cooler units are an essential part of these life-saving surgeries because they help keep a patient’s circulating blood and organs at a specific temperature during the procedure.
Patients who have had open-heart surgery and are having symptoms should seek medical care. While risk of infection is low, it is important to consult with your doctor.
*The Medical Issue
Symptoms of infection can take months to develop, and are often general and nonspecific. As a result, diagnosis of these infections can be missed or delayed, sometimes for years, making these infections more difficult to treat. Clinicians may not immediately consider an NTM diagnosis. Delayed diagnosis can result in more widespread disease in a patient. This, combined with underlying health problems such as heart disease, can make these infections difficult to treat.
How We Can Help
For over 50 years Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer has been successfully representing people injured by improper medical care or poorly designed and faulty products. We are here to help. Don’t hesitate, contact us today. If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered a life-threatening infection after open-heart surgery due to infection after use of a heater-cooler device, you should contact our law firm today for a free consultation. Please use the form below to contact one of our lawyers or call toll free at (800) 535-1797.
*Information above is cited from CDC.gov (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)