Undergoing a surgical procedure can be an unnerving experience, especially since it can be difficult to know the final outcome ahead of time. Medical professionals must tell patients about the risks they could encounter during and after any surgery. This gives patients the opportunity to make a fully informed decision about their medical treatment.
Surgeons and anesthesiologists often use temperature control devices on patients under anesthesia to ensure their bodies remain at a safe temperature. Using these devices can reduce the risks patients face while on the operating table. Doctors work hard to help patients avoid post-operative infections; one of the biggest risks associated with surgery. However, the Stockert 3T brand of temperature regulation device can actually increase the risks patients face rather than decreasing them. Studies have shown that these heaters can expose patients to life-threatening bacterial infections.
If you suffered complications from infection after a surgery in which a temperature control device was used, contact a skilled defective device lawyer. A Stockert 3T heater lawyer could help you determine whether you should receive financial compensation for your injuries.
Surgical Uses of Stockert 3T Heaters
Heater-cooler devices such as Stockert 3T heaters are most commonly used during cardiothoracic surgeries. It is vital that a patient’s temperature remains within a safe range during these physically intensive operations. These devices use water tanks to pump hot or cold water into a blanket or similar device placed around the patient.
As with any heating or cooling device, the heaters in Stockert 3T devices have a ventilation system intended to keep the device from overheating. However, the flawed design of Stockert 3T heaters can actually expose patients to water-borne bacteria transmitted through the ventilation.
Studies have shown that the bacteria within the closed water circuits can aerosolize through the heater’s exhaust vent. Exposure to bacteria in the sterile environment of an operating room can lead to serious or even fatal infections.
Infection Risks after Using Stockert 3T Heaters
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported on the dangers associated with using Stockert 3T heaters. Specifically, the agency warned that some patients might face exposure to M. chimaera bacteria after cardiothoracic surgery.
The FDA found there was a link between the M. chimaera that infected patients during open-chest cardiac surgery, and the M. chimaera isolated from the 3T heater-cooler model utilized during these patients’ surgeries.
Unfortunately, the signs of an infection may not appear for years after the surgery. According to the FDA, patients who develop infections due to bacterial exposure from Stockert 3T heaters may have symptoms that include:
- Redness, heat, or pus at the surgical site
- Also, muscle, joint, and/or abdominal pain
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
- Lastly nausea and/or vomiting
Stockert 3T Heater Claims
Those who develop an infection can sue LivaNova PLC, for compensation related to their illness. Victims across the country file lawsuits alleging that LivaNova acted negligently by failing to disclose the risks.
If you believe your post-surgical infection was the result of exposure to M. chimaera, now is the time to explore your legal options. An attorney experienced in Stockert 3T heater claims could review your case and fight for compensation. So, contact a Stockert 3T lawyer today.