Thousands of people have been exposed to a life-threatening infection risk after Heater-Cooler devices were used during their open heart surgery. The slow-growing bacteria may not cause symptoms for years, which can delay diagnosis.
Need a Texas Heater-Cooler Device Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with an infection after open heart surgery, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit in Texas.
Heater-Cooler Class Action Filed in Iowa
May 2017 — A woman from Iowa filed a class action lawsuit (PDF) for everyone in Iowa who was exposed to M. chimaera, M. abscessus, and other potentially deadly types of Non-Tuberculosis Mycobacterium (“NTM bacteria”) bacteria from a Sorin/LivaNova Stӧckert 3T heater-cooler machine. Click here to read more.
What is the problem?
Water in a heater-cooler system never directly contacts a patient. However, when non-sterile water evaporates, Non-Tuberculosis Mycobacteria (NTM) can “aerosolize,” escape through the system’s exhaust vents, and infect a patient.
In March 2015, Clinical Infectious Diseases reported a cluster of six infections in Europe were linked to heater-cooler devices. Soon afterward, hospitals in the United States identified about a dozen more cases.
The problem could be even more widespread. The FDA issued a Safety Comunication about the problem in October 2015 after receiving 32 reports of infection or bacterial contamination.
Because NTM bacteria is slow-growing, diagnosis is often delayed. It can take months or years before symptoms of an infection appear. When they do, these symptoms may include:
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Night sweats
- Pain, redness, heat, or pus around the surgical incision
Hospitals Report Infection Outbreaks
Two hospitals in Pennsylvania have reported outbreaks, including WellSpan York Hospital, where eight infections and three deaths were reported, and Penn State Hershey Medical Center, where three infections and two deaths were reported. Over 3,600 people were exposed to mycobacteria during open heart surgeries at these hospitals.
Lawyers Request Heater-Cooler MDL
In January 2017, lawyers asked federal judges to create a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in South Carolina to centralize all heater-cooler infection lawsuits nationwide into one court. The request came soon after hospitals in South Carolina notified another 5,000 patients of exposure to bacteria when the 3T Heater-Cooler was used during their open-heart surgery.
What is the problem?
The Clark Firm, LLP is nationally recognized as a class action law firm in Texas. However, our attorneys are not filing a Heater-Cooler class action at this time. Instead, we are investigating individual lawsuits on behalf of patients who were diagnosed with mycobacterial infections after open heart surgery.
About Class Actions
Class actions have advantages when a lot of people have a relatively minor legal claim — such as seeking a refund for a defective product. Lawyers choose a representative case, fight for compensation on behalf of the group, and divide any payout.
Why Our Law Firm is Filing Individual Lawsuits as Opposed to a Class Action
The problem with class actions is that people with very serious injuries may have to accept a “low-ball” settlement and higher attorneys’ fees.
Instead of a class action, we provide personal legal representation to each of our clients. We specialize in helping victims of defective medical devices file individual lawsuits, seeking justice and maximizing compensation on their behalf.
Heart surgery patients who were diagnosed with non-tuberculosis mycobacterial (NTM) infections after open heart surgery could be eligible for compensation for their pain and suffering, medical expenses, permanent injuries, and more.
Need a Heater-Cooler Device Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas Heater-Cooler lawyers for a free lawsuit review.