The manufacturer of a heater-cooler system used to help control patients’ body temperature during open-heart surgery is facing legal trouble after reports indicate the devices may increase the risk of infection.
Heater-cooler units are generally effective and oftentimes essential in maintaining internal temperature and blood circulation during surgery. However, certain LivaNova PLC Stöckert 3T heater-cooler devices (formerly known as Sorin 3T) units may disperse bacteria into the air and reach the patient and surgical site, which could ultimately lead to serious illness or death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning that the surgical heater-cooler systems may have been contaminated during manufacturing. The CCD also released a Health Alert Network advisory, assisting hospitals and other healthcare providers in identifying and informing those at risk for infection due to the faulty devices. While the specific infection that may result from use of the Stöckert 3T is not contagious, it is very serious.
If you have undergone cardiac surgery in which a Stöckert 3T heater-cooler system was used, the following complications may be an indication of a Nontuberculous mycobacteria infection such as Mycobacterium chimaera:
- Joint pain
- Muscle aches
- Weight loss
- Unexplained fever
What Causes the Infection?
Research shows the water used in Stöckert 3T heater-coolers may become contaminated, resulting in dangerous bacteria being released through the device’s exhaust vent. The bacteria may then spread throughout the operating room and come in contact with the patient during open-heart surgery. If you have experienced any of the above symptoms, you should immediately notify your physician about the possibility of a Nontuberculous mycobacteria infection.
If you’ve experienced similar complications after an open-heart surgery, the 3T heater-cooler system may be to blame. Our product liability attorneys have decades of experience helping victims of defective or otherwise dangerous products such as these. To request a free case evaluation, you can reach our office by dialing 1-888-783-8378 or by filling out the case evaluation form to the right of this page.
Note: Our firm also handles Bair Hugger Warming Blanket cases.