3T Heater-Cooler Device Infections

Sorin Device Tied to Dangerous Infections in Cardiac Surgery Patients

The Sorin 3T Heater-Cooler is a device used to regulate a patient's temperature during surgery. The device is filled with water that is heated or cooled as needed during cardiac procedures. Multiple lawsuits throughout the country are attempting to hold the makers of the device accountable for nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infections caused by the heater-cooler units.

A Dangerous Condition

The equipment in question is exposing patients to mycobacterium chimaera (M. chimaera). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a safety communication in 2016, alerting hospitals, doctors and patients of the dangers of the device. Specifically, the infections are associated with the LivaNova PLC (formerly Sorin Group Deutschland GmbH) Stӧckert 3T Heater-Cooler System. M. chimaera infections are highly dangerous and can cause any of the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Surgical wound infection signs, such as redness, heat or pus
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Death

The infections can take months or even years to develop after a patient is exposed. That makes it challenging for patients to discover the cause of their problem and hold the responsible parties accountable.

How the Contamination Spreads

Patients do not come into direct contact with the water in 3T Heater-Coolers. The water is in a closed system with the water stored in tanks. The water in those tanks is kept in such a condition that it can encourage the growth of M. chimaera. Once the bacteria is there, it can become airborne through leaks or the exhaust vent. Once in the air, it can easily spread to patients who are undergoing open-heart surgeries.

Contact Our Defective Medical Device Attorneys

At Galligan Reid PC, we have more than 25 years of trial experience, including many cases involving medical negligence and defective products. Our lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us at 800-217-9312 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.