Every year in the United States, there are over 250,000 heart bypass procedures using heater-cooler units. Roughly 6 out of every 10 of those procedures involve units that are linked with deadly infections.
If you have undergone a heart surgery and suffered an infection, you should be aware of the association between these devices and the pathogen Mycobacterium chimaera. At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we are meeting with infected heart surgery patients to explore legal options to pursue compensation for the damages caused by Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler Units.
Common signs of these infections include fever, night sweats, weight loss, muscle aches, and fatigue. If you exhibit these symptoms, even if they occur years after your heart surgery, you should seek immediate medical help and call our firm to schedule a free consultation.
THE STOCKERT 3T HEATER-COOLER AND DANGEROUS INFECTIONS
The Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler is a device used in open-heart surgeries. It has been linked to a very specific type of pathogen called Mycobacterium chimaera, which can lead to extremely hazardous infections in patients.
These infections can take a very long time to manifest. It’s not uncommon for signs of the infection to occur after several months or even years following the original surgery. Additionally, diagnosing the infection can be a lengthy process. Proper diagnosis typically requires that the healthcare professional knows what to look for, which means that many of these cases might go undiagnosed. There is a high morbidity rate in cases of infection, most likely due to the fact that by the time its presence is detected, the organism has been active in a patient for a long time.
There is much discussion among researchers over exactly where the presence of Mycobacterium chimaera originated. Evidence suggests that heater-cooler units might be contaminated during manufacturing. Thorough cleaning and disinfecting of these devices helped prevent some airborne forms of Mycobacterium chimaera, though it did not eliminate the presence of all harmful bacteria.
In other words, these devices are dangerous for several reasons. They can be dangerous from the time they leave the manufacturer, and improper use of these devices during heart surgery might further put patients at risk for developing a serious infection.
WHAT HEART SURGERY PATIENTS SHOULD KNOW
When patients undergo major heart surgeries, they aren’t required to have an in-depth knowledge of the medical equipment and medications used by doctors. A heart surgery patient likely won’t know if a Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler Unit was used during a procedure.
It is often only after becoming sick and being diagnosed with an infection that a patient might be made aware of the fact that their surgical procedure led to their condition. Even then, a patient might need to do their own digging around to discover the link. In some cases, a patient might be notified that they were involved in a procedure that used a recalled device like the Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler Unit, but, again, there are no guarantees.
That’s why it is important to educate the public, especially heart surgery patients, about the link between the devices used in these procedures and the potential for developing this deadly infection. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a serious infection after a heart surgery, you should be aware that the condition could have been caused by a heater-cooler unit.
YOU HAVE LEGAL OPTIONS
If you have had heart surgery and have been diagnosed with Mycobacterium chimaera, you should consider your legal options. You can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer of these devices to receive compensation for the costs associated with your condition.
In many cases, patients with Mycobacterium chimaera have required several additional surgeries, extensive medical treatment, and several types of prescription medication. They might also have experienced a worsening of their original heart condition, suffered other side effects, and endured an incredible amount of pain and suffering. A patient might face a significant financial fallout, potentially losing the ability to work and provide their family.
A product liability claim is a tool used by injured patients to recover the costs suffered from a defective or harmful product. At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we believe that you shouldn’t have to pay the costs for a manufacturer’s mistakes. We stand up for the rights of our clients to make sure they are treated fairly and get the compensation they deserve.
Contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law through our website or by calling 1 (800) 444-5000 or locally in the Houston area at (713) 973-8888.