In October 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a shocking report: a large number of heater-cooler systems utilized during recent heart surgeries had been contaminated, putting hundreds of thousands of patients at risk for potentially fatal infections.
The defective medical devices, Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler Systems, manufactured by LivaNova PLC, were contaminated with a nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM) called Mycobacterium chimaera. This bacterial organism infected a significant number of patients during surgery, sometimes resulting in serious, long-term, and life-threatening complications.
According to the CDC’s report, over 250,000 cardiac procedures using heater-cooler systems take place each year in the United States, with 60 percent of those procedures involving the Stockert 3T systems.
If you or a loved one suffered an M. chimaera infection following heart surgery, we invite you to speak with a defective medical device attorney at Sweeney Merrigan Law today.
What are Stockert 3T heater-cooler systems used for?
These heater-cooler systems are used to regulate a patient’s body temperature during open-heart surgeries. The systems consist of one hot water tank and one cold water tank, connected to a series of tubes, which keep the patient’s temperature consistent and optimize patient outcomes.
What is a nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM)?
This is a bacteria that naturally occurs in nature, and that can be found in water or soil. While most healthy people can fight off this type of infection without displaying any symptoms or suffering any health problems, those with weakened immune systems, such as those who have just had major surgery, may be susceptible to serious illness.
How do the heater-cooler systems lead to infections?
Scientists believe that some of the systems have contaminated water sources. The contaminated water then evaporates into the air, exits the machine through a vent, and enters the patient’s lungs or open chest cavity. The infection can take days, weeks, or months to develop and must be treated with a one-to-two year round of antibiotics.
Who is responsible for my or my loved one’s NTM infection?
If you or your loved one battled an NTM infection after having heart surgery involving a Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System, it is possible that the system’s manufacturer, LivaNova PLC, is responsible for the infection and any related damages. There are many possible causes of infection following major surgery, but examining the evidence surrounding your complications can help determine why an infection took place and whether it was preventable.
Do I have a LivaNova Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System case?
The best way to find out if you have a defective medical device case involving the Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System is to speak to an experienced attorney about the details of your case.
What are the symptoms of an NTM infection?
While some people display no symptoms of an infection, others slowly develop worrisome and worsening signs over time. The symptoms include:
In some cases, symptoms can take weeks, months, or even years to surface.
When NTM infections began to be reported among a significant number of heart surgery patients, an investigation into the matter revealed that the bacteria likely came from a single source: a manufacturing plant for the Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System that is located in Germany.
These infections can he extremely dangerous, especially to those who are also recovering from surgery and suffering from heart disease. If LivaNova PLC and the Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System was responsible for your NTM infection, you may legally deserve compensation for your losses, which could include:
We know how expensive, emotionally damaging, and physically traumatic NTM infections can be. We also know that medical device companies must be held responsible for their errors in order to create a safer and more just world. We want to stand up with you against these negligent businesses to make certain that these mistakes don’t harm future patients.
It can be difficult to know if post-surgery complications were caused by a defective medical device, such as a heater-cooler system. The best way to learn more about your case is to speak with an experienced defective medical device attorney about the details of your case.
At Sweeney Merrigan Law, we are dedicated to helping those harmed by negligent medical device companies. One of the ways we show our dedication is by offering those affected by Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System a free, private consultation with one of our attorneys. To schedule your meeting, please contact us today via contact form or call (617) 391-9001.