A recent study suggests that contamination of Stӧckert 3T heater-cooler machines may be more widespread than previously believed, with more than 30% testing positive for harmful bacteria.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one suffered an infection or other injury after surgery with a heater-cooler machine, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
What’s the problem?
July 6, 2017 – To find out what percentage of heater-coolers were contaminated, a research team led by John Rihs took water samples from 89 heater-cooler units that were in use in 23 hospitals in 14 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.
They determined that 33 of the units (37%) tested positive for M. chimaera, while 4 were tainted with Legionella, in addition to several miscellaneous strains of microbacteria. As well, 97 of the 653 water samples were unable to be tested due to high levels of bacterial and fungal contamination.
“The extent of contamination from such a rare organism in multiple units from all over the country was surprising,” Rihs said. “These results highlight the importance of monitoring the decontamination and maintenance schedules of these devices to minimize the risk of patient harm.”
In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a meeting with medical experts and healthcare providers to discuss the problem, and to review recommendations to help prevent the spread of infection. FDA recommended that medical centers direct the heater-cooler exhaust away from the patient, and strongly consider transitioning away from the use of any 3T heater-cooler devices manufactured before September 2014.
The results of the new study were presented at the 44th Annual Conference of the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).
Do I Have a Heater-Cooler Class Action Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in heater-cooler lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you were injured by a heater-cooler machine, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and we can help.