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Heater-Cooler Class Action Lawsuit

Heater-Cooler Class Action Lawsuit

Thousands of open heart surgery patients were exposed to a risk of infection from contaminated Heater-Cooler devices. At least six deaths and nearly two dozen infections have been blamed on the problem.

What You Can Do & How We Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting heater-cooler device induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with an infection after 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.

Heater-Cooler Class Action Lawsuit

In February 2016, a class action lawsuit (PDF) was filed in Pennsylvania by two men who were exposed to a deadly bacteria during open-heart surgery at WellSpan York and Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Case No. 1:16-cv-00260.

Overview

Stӧckert 3T Heater-Coolers are commonly used during open heart surgery to keep a patient warm. The system consists of a water tank connected to a heat-exchanger or a blanket used to warm or cool a patient.

What is the problem?

When non-sterile water is used in the tank, a common bacteria known as Non-Tuberculosis Mycobacteria (NTM) can contaminate the system. The water in a heater-cooler device never directly contacts a patient. However, when the water evaporates, bacteria can aerosolize from the vents and spray onto a patient, resulting in an infection.

Outbreaks Linked to Heater-Cooler Devices

The first cluster of six infections were reported in Europe by Clinical Infectious Diseases in March 2015. In October, the FDA reported that 32 reports of infection or bacterial contamination had been reported since 2010.

Outbreaks have been reported at WellSpan York Hospital (eight infections, three deaths, 1,300 exposed) and Penn State Hershey Medical Center (three infections, two deaths, and 2,300 exposed).

Symptoms of Infection

Mycobacteria is slow-growing and it can take months or several years before a patient experiences symptoms. When symptoms appear, the infection is easily misdiagnosed. Symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Night sweats
  • Pain, redness, heat, or pus around the surgical incision

What is the problem?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is nationally recognized as a class action law firm, but our trial attorneys are not currently filing a Heater-Cooler class action. Instead, we are filing individual lawsuits and only accepting cases involving mycobacterial infections after heart surgery.

About Class Actions

Class actions are beneficial for large groups of people with the same legal claim — for example, seeking reimbursement for buying a defective product. Plaintiffs consolidate their claims, collectively fight for compensation, and share any payout.

Why Our Law Firm is Filing Individual Lawsuits as Opposed to a Class Action

Heart surgery patients who develop mycobacterial infections may suffer for years with a misdiagnosed condition. They are also at risk of developing life-threatening complications.

Unfortunately, members of class actions sometimes must accept a “low-ball” settlement and higher attorneys’ fees. Instead of a class action, we are filing individual lawsuits.

Our law firm specializes in providing personal legal representation to people who were severely injured by defective medical devices. If you decide to file a lawsuit, you could recover compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, disability, and more.

Do I have a Heater-Cooler Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting heater-cooler device induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with an infection after 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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Free Case Evaluation

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading plaintiff’s law firms and handles cases in all 50 states. We are very proud of our legal achievements, but equally self-respecting of our firms reputation for providing personal attention to each and every client we represent.

No matter what type of case you have, you may contact us with confidence by filling out the email contact form below or calling us directly by dialing toll free 24 hrs/day (866) 920-0753.

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