At least a dozen Indiana hospitals are sending letters to over 8,000 open heart surgery patients warning them they may be at risk of developing a life-threatening infection linked to heater-cooler devices used during the operation.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you got an infection after undergoing open heart 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.
What’s the Problem?
January 3, 2016 – Indiana University (IU) Health says within the next few weeks, it will be sending letters to 6,500 patients who were hooked up to Stöckert 3T heater-cooler devices made by LivaNova PLC, which are used to control a patient’s body temperature during open-heart surgery.
The Roudebush VA Medical Center recently sent warning letters to 430 patients on whom the Stöckert 3T heater-cooler was used. Franciscan Health says it notified about 800 open-heart surgery patients, and Community Health sent letters to about 600.
Between 2010 and 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) received at least 91 reports of patients who developed a nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM) infections associated with heater-coolers. The infections have caused least 12 patient deaths worldwide, according to the FDA.
Symptoms of NTM infection include night sweats, muscle aches, joint pain, weight loss, fatigue and unexplained fever. Health officials say the risk of infection in otherwise healthy patients is typically very low and is not contagious.
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) says it is not aware of any NTM cases linked to heater-cooler systems. However, nearby states such as Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota have reported infections. NTM illness can develop slowly over the course of months or years, and it can take more than a year of antibiotic treatment to cure.
IU Health says it used Stöckert 3T heater-coolers during heart operations at its Methodist, University, Arnett and Bloomington hospitals. The university also acknowledged that the device was also used on about 1,000 children who had cardiac operations at Riley Hospital for Children, the largest pediatric hospital in Indiana.
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 infection cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you developed and infection after undergoing surgery in which a heater-cooler device was used, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.