Product Manufacturer and Hospitals Knew About the Risks but Still Exposed Patients to Deadly Infection
According to reports from the FDA and CDC, certain Heater-Cooler Devices, which are machines used to regulate a patient’s body temperature during open heart surgery, are contaminated with a deadly and invasive form of bacteria, Mycobacterium Chimaera.
It has recently been discovered that contaminated machines were used during open-heart surgeries in the Chicagoland area. The use of this machine during open-heart surgery exposed patients to the risk of developing infection at or around the surgical site. The bacteria itself is slow growing meaning that signs and symptoms of infection often take months, and in some cases even years to develop after exposure. Signs and symptoms of infection include:
- Night sweats
- Muscle aches
- Weight loss
- Unexplained fever
- Redness or drainage from sternal wound site
Information obtained by Power Rogers & Smith, LLP indicates that there has been at least one reported death in the Chicagoland area as a result of exposure to this deadly and dangerous bacteria. If you or a family member underwent open-heart surgery during which a contaminated Heater-Cooler device was used, you may have received a letter from your hospital that is similar to the letter linked here (PDF).
Power Rogers & Smith, LLP is currently investigating this issue for a patient who had open heart surgery and developed this infection from which he was seriously injured. We are looking for similar problems experienced by patients from these Heater-Cooler Devices. If you or your family member received this or a similar letter, please contact us to discuss this most serious matter.