Children’s Hospital of New Orleans has reported an infection outbreak with the bacteria Mycobacterium abscessus in at least 7 patients who had open-heart surgery from May to July 2017. The infections are linked to a heater-cooler machine in the operating room.
What You Can Do & How We Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Mycobacteria infection induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was diagnosed with an infection after open-heart surgery, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Medical Device Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
What is the problem?
The outbreak of infections has been traced to a machine in the operating room that is used to regulate the temperature of a patient’s blood during open-heart surgery or cardiopulmonary bypass.
What is Mycobacterium?
The outbreak involves Mycobacterium abscessus, a bacteria that is commonly found in water, soil, and dust. Mycobacteria rarely infects healthy people — but if it lands inside a patient’s body while they are undergoing surgery, it can cause a devastating infection.
Infection Outbreak at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans
On September 11, 2017, Children’s Hospital of New Orleans reported that a group of at least 7 children who had open-heart surgery between late May and July 2017 developed surgical-site infections with Mycobacterium abscessus:
“A common element in the affected children was open-heart surgery … We believe a piece of equipment used to regulate the temperature of patients while on bypass is the most likely source of this infection.”
Outbreak Investigation & Response
Investigators at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans believe the outbreak is limited to patients who had open-heart surgery in 1 operating room. The room was disinfected and the piece of equipment that was contaminated with Mycobacteria was removed and replaced.
Heater-Cooler Units Put Open-Heart Surgery Patients at Risk
Hospitals around the world have reported dozens of outbreaks of Mycobacterium chimaera and Mycobacterium abscessus in patients who underwent open-heart surgery. The problem is a piece of equipment called a Heater-Cooler Units (HCUs) that is found in nearly all operating rooms where cardiac bypass surgery is performed.
Symptoms of Mycobacterial Infections
Mycobacterium is a slow-growing bacteria. The symptoms of an infection may appear in the first few weeks after open-heart surgery, but in some cases the symptoms may not appear for up to 5 years.
Patients who have had open-heart surgery should seek medical care if they are experiencing symptoms associated with infections, such as:
- Night sweats
- Muscle aches
- Weight loss
- Unexplained fever
Do I have a Heart Surgery Infection Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting heart surgery infection induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was diagnosed with an infection after open-heart surgery, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Medical Device Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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