A Florida Stockert infection lawyer may be able to help people who developed severe infections after having a procedure that used the device. Heater-cooler devices are often used in certain surgical procedures, such as open-heart surgery. These devices, however, may contain contaminated water that can be transmitted through the air and onto a patient’s open chest cavity, leading to severe infections that may not be detected for years. Affected patients and their families may be able to file a lawsuit and pursue damages with the help of a Florida Stockert heater-cooler lawsuit attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Florida today. We offer free, confidential, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a case we can connect you with an affiliated Florida Stockert infection lawyer who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What is a Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System?
Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler Systems are medical devices used during open-chest surgical procedures to warm or cool a patient during the surgery. The devices are manufactured by LivaNova, PLC, a medical device company based in London, England. Heater-cooler devices typically include water tanks, pumps and tubes that provide temperature-controlled water to external heat exchangers or warming/cooling blankets through a set of closed circuits. The water used in heater-cooler devices is not intended to come into direct contact with a patient.
Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System Risks
Heater-cooler devices, including the Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System, have been linked to potential water contamination and the subsequent transmission of harmful bacteria to a patient’s open chest cavity. The bacteria, Mycobacterium chimaera (M. chimaera), is a slow-growing nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM) that is difficult to detect because infected patients may not realize that they have any signs or symptoms of infection for months to years after initial exposure.
According to an article published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, an open access journal published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heater-cooler devices “seem to provide favorable environmental conditions for the growth of NTM, in particular M. chimaera.” Based on results of the study, researchers note that, despite intensified cleaning and disinfection, the growth of M. chimaera returned after nearly six months.
Signs and Symptoms of NTM Infection
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), possible signs and symptoms of NTM infection include:
- Pain, including abdominal, joint and muscle pain
- Weight loss
- Night sweats
- Redness, heat or pus at the surgical site
Although they are rare, NTM infections do occur, and specific antibiotics may be used to treat patients who become infected.
As new information regarding the use of heater-cooler devices, including the Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System, and their relationship with an increased risk for NTM infections becomes available, the FDA has updated a safety communication to include new recommendations for patients, health care professionals, and health care facilities.
Patients should be aware that most cardiopulmonary bypass procedures involve the use of a heater-cooler device and that the FDA has received reports of patient infections related to the exposure of M. chimaera when contaminated Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler Systems were used during open-cavity surgical procedures. Patients who have received a heart valve, graft, left ventricular assist device, or any prosthetic product or heart transplant may be an an increased risk of infection.
How a Florida Stockert Infection Lawyer Can Help
Medical device makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their devices, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a device maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
People injured by a defective Stockert heater-cooler device may be eligible to recover money for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
The families of those killed may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.
The Time You Have to Pursue a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Florida. You can fill out the form on this page or contact us by phone or email.
After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.