July 13, 2016 — A hospital in Pennsylvania is facing a growing number of lawsuits from patients who developed infections after a problematic heater-cooler device was used in their open-heart surgery.
In October 2015, York Hospital in Pennsylvania sent letters to 1,300 people who had heart surgery between October 1, 2011 and July 24, 2015. At least eight patients were infected, including four who died.
The problem is the 3T Heater-Cooler made by LivaNova. The device regulates the body temperature of patients undergoing heart surgery.
The FDA warns that bacteria in the system can blow out of the exhaust vents and land on a patient. The FDA said it had received 32 reports of infections associated with heater-cooler devices.
Dozens of people have developed infections with M. chimaera, a type of non-tuberculosis mycobacterium (NTM) that is commonly found in the environment. It was also detected in the water at the facility where the 3T is manufactured.
In February, two men who were infected with NTM after open-heart surgery at York Hospital filed a $5 million lawsuit.
In June, two more lawsuits were filed against York Hospital. One of the victims, 62 year-old businessman David Inners, developed an NTM infection after heart surgery in December 2014. He suffered from fever and fatigue for months before developing kidney failure and heart failure that resulted in his death.
The other victim, 54 year-old Vincent Karst, had open-heart surgery in March 2015. He was diagnosed with an NTM infection after developing fever, chronic pain, fatigue, and other symptoms.
NTM infections are rare and do not spread easily. The bacteria is slow-growing and infection symptoms may not appear for up to four years. When symptoms do appear, they may include fever, weight-loss, joint pain, loss of energy, night sweats, and more.
Do I have a Heart Surgery Infection Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting heater-cooler induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with an infection, 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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