People who undergo open-heart surgery with a heater-cooler device may be at risk of developing a potentially deadly infection, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you got an infection after surgery with a heater-cooler device, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
How Do Heater-Cooler Machines Work?
Heater-cooler combos are used to regulate a patient’s body temperature during cardioplegic surgeries that stop the heart and blood flow. Certain cardiothoracic surgeries involving the heart and lungs, such as a transplant, require cardioplegia to be successful.
What’s the Problem?
Lawsuits have been filed by patients who allegedly developed life-threatening bacterial infections after undergoing surgery in which a heater-cooler unit was used.
What Does the FDA Say About Heater-Cooler Devices?
In October 2015, the FDA warned about an increased risk of bacterial infection associated with use of the Stӧckert 3T heater-cooler devices manufactured by LivaNova. At least 28 nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infections in patients undergoing open-heart surgery in U.S. hospitals have been associated with the devices, and more than 500,000 patients may be at risk of infection, according to the FDA.
What are the Symptoms of an NTM Infection?
- Night sweats
- Muscle aches
- Weight loss
- Unexplained fever
What Should I Do if I had Surgery with a Heater-Cooler Unit?
Patients who may have been exposed to NTM bacteria during a surgery should watch for the above symptoms and contact their doctor immediately should any signs appear. Due to the potentially long delay between exposure to NTM and appearance of symptoms, identifying infections related to heater-cooler use can be extremely challenging.
Can I Sue for a Heater-Cooler Infection?
Yes, you can file a lawsuit for an infection from a heater-cooler machine used during open-heart surgery or other invasive procedure if there is evidence connecting your infection to the device. Dozens of heater-cooler lawsuits have already been filed in courts across the U.S.
Which Injuries is your Law Firm Accepting?
You may qualify to participate in a heater-cooler lawsuit if you:
- Had open chest surgery (heart and/or lungs) from 2006 to the present;
- Developed life-threatening (hospitalization) infection within 2 years of surgery.
Has a Class Action Been Filed?
No class action lawsuit has been filed in the heater-cooler litigation. However, lawyers have requested that a multidistrict litigation (MDL) be created to centralize the lawsuits in South Carolina, where 10 out of 15 lawsuits are currently pending.
What’s the Difference Between a Class Action and an MDL?
Class actions involve a single lawsuit filed by a large group of people who have suffered similar harm by the same defendant or defendants. The plaintiffs or “class” consolidate their claims into one legal action. Multidistrict litigation (MDL), on the other hand, may involve multiple lawsuits that have been filed by different parties. The different legal actions are consolidated merely for the purpose of pre-trial proceeding convenience, including discovery, and may then be sent back to the courts where they came from for the trial.
Have There Been Any Settlements?
The heater-cooler litigation is still in its early stages, and there have been no reports of any significant settlement offers. However, our lawyers feel that as the number of lawsuits filed over the devices continue to grow, manufacturers will eventually enter settlement negotiations with the plaintiffs.
Do I Have a Heater-Cooler 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 developed an infection after surgery with a heater-cooler machine, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.