Millions of Americans have undergone open heart surgeries and other types of chest surgeries. These procedures often place extreme stress on the patient and on their families, and because of a defective device used in many of these surgeries, patients are suffering even post surgery.
Heater-cooler devices are regularly used in open heart surgeries to regulate organ temperature and blood flow. These devices provide surgeons with numerous benefits, but have also been linked to a serious, possibly life threatening bacteria.
About the bacteria
The bacteria is known as Nontuberculous Mycobacterium (NTM). Experts now know this type of bacteria has the potential to grow inside certain heater-cooler devices (click here for manufacturer information).
Symptoms and Risk Factors
Symptoms of NTM infection include fatigue, fever, muscle and joint paint, night sweats, etc. Symptoms may begin several months post surgery, or even over a year post surgery. NTM infection treatment varies; some patients are prescribed antibiotics for 1-2 years while some patients require additional surgeries. If untreated, an NTM infection could result in death.
What to Do if You Believe You Have Been Exposed
Not all patients exposed to NTM will develop an infection. If you become symptomatic contact your health care provider immediately.
Jacoby & Meyers attorneys are actively representing clients who have developed NTM infections due to defective heater-cooler devices.