Central Indiana hospitals have recently notified thousands of heart surgery patients about an increased risk for life-threatening infections linked to a device often used during heart surgeries, the Stockert 3T heater-cooler device. The device is used to regulate blood temperature during open-heart procedures. IU Health, the Roudebush VA Medical Center, Community Health Network, and Franciscan Health have all sent letters advising heart surgery patients about the increased risk for infection according to media reports.
The Centers for Disease Control along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warnings about the risk for infection as early as 2015 after testing showed bacteria from the 3T heater-cooler devices matched bacteria found in patients in several states. European studies indicate the bacteria contaminated the heater-cooler devices during manufacturing in Germany.
The bacteria, identified as Mycobacterium chimaera, can cause infections (also referred to as an NTM infection) that may take months to develop in open-heart surgery patients. Symptoms may include night sweats, muscle aches, weight loss, fatigue, or unexplained fever. The FDA recommended that patients who have undergone a cardiopulmonary bypass procedure and are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of an NTM infection to contact their health care provider as soon as possible
If you or someone you know had open-heart surgery and developed an infection, contact us or fill out the questionnaire below. Our personal injury attorneys have experience litigating thousands of claims against medical device manufacturers and can advise you of your legal rights and options.
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