Stockert 3T Device More Dangerous Than Anticipated
When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent out a warning letter to patients and physicians in 2015 regarding infections from the Stockert 3T heater-cooler device, it was thought the full scope of the risk was understood. However, nearly two years later a new study has found the infection risk was more widespread than previously believed.
The Initial Problem
The Stockert 3T is manufactured in Germany by LivaNova. In early 2015, the company began to receive complaints from European patients about infections connected to the device. The heater-cooler device has been linked to rare bacteria called mycobacterium chimaera, or M. chimaera.
Studying The Infection Risk
Researchers from Pittsburgh looked into the infection risk presented by the Stockert 3T by collecting samples from across the country. Researchers tested 89 samples from 23 difference states, the District of Columbia, and Canada and found 33 units were contaminated with M. chimaera. The Stockert 3T is used in approximately 60% of hospitals for regulating patient body temperatures during cardiac/thoracic surgery, so the threat to patients is very real.
M. chimaera is a particularly dangerous bacteria because it presents very generic symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose. Last year, the FDA reported 79 instances of patient infections from the device, including at least 12 deaths. However, the agency believes many cases go unreported.
After the latest findings from researchers, some hospitals are reaching out to patients to inform them they may have been exposed to the risk. Because it can take months or even years for infection symptoms to manifest, it is incredibly important for cardiac surgery patients to watch out for signs of an infection. If you underwent cardiac or thoracic surgery within the last five years, talk to your doctor about your infection risk.
Stockert 3T Lawyers
Patients have a right to make informed decisions about their care. If device manufacturers don’t provide adequate warnings about their products, patients can be blindsided by life threatening side effects. If you or someone you love suffered an infection after open-heart surgery, you may be able to obtain compensation. Call the experienced Stockert 3T infection lawyers at Blizzard & Nabers today for a free consultation.