A defective medical device may be causing patients who have undergone open heart surgeries since 2012 a risk of a life-threatening infection. Health officials have released a warning to patients who have valve implants or prosthetic product implants. The CDC says there is now a link between theses devices and a serious risk of infection called nontuberculous mycobacterium. Health officials say an estimated 600,000 patients are at risk for a potential infection, based on the number of surgeries conducted over the past four years. According to data collect by the CDC, there has been 28 confirmed infections and 12 deaths in the US. Worldwide, there have been 79 confirmed infections.
A chairperson of the American College of Cardiology's surgeon's council said the risk is not overwhelming. The Stöckert 3T heater-cooler device is the source of the potential infection and is produced by LivaNova PLC. Authorities say that during manufacturing, these devices may have become contaminated with NTM. This device is used during cardiac surgical procedures to warm and cool a patient's blood and organs. Those at risk for infections are worldwide.
The bacterial species of nontuberculous mycobacterial can show symptoms such as unexplained fever, sweats, weight loss, fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain. Symptoms often take months to develop, and it is very hard to diagnose. The illness is pulmonary and can take more than a year of antibiotic treatment to cure.
A contraction of this infection can take months and years to recover, costing tens of thousands of dollars in medical fees. If you have developed a serious illness because of a contaminated medical device, you must contact experienced legal counsel immediately at Meyerkord & Kurth, LLC.