The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a notice to hospitals advising them to notify patients who have undergone heart surgery since 2012 of their risks for infection. The problem is related to the Stöckert 3T heater-cooler, a device commonly used to regulate body temperature during open-heart surgery. According to the warning, these devices were contaminated with Mycobacterium chimera during manufacturing.
28 cases of nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infections caused by this bacteria have already been documented in the United States. CNN reports that, worldwide, this infection has been linked to at least 12 deaths.
Symptoms of this infection include:
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Chronic cough with or without blood in the phlegm
- Muscle aches
- Night sweats
- Loss of energy
Symptoms of NTM can take months to appear. The CDC recommends patients who have undergone cardiac surgery contact their healthcare providers immediately should any of these symptoms occur, particularly in combination. NTM infections are deadly but can be treated when caught early on.
LivaNova PLC, the manufacturer of the Stöckert 3T, may be liable for serious or fatal injury caused by their products. Our defective medical device attorneys are here to investigate your case and help you determine if you are entitled to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and the personal pain and suffering your NTM infection has caused.