The attorneys at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates are currently accepting cases on behalf of individuals who have developed serious and potentially fatal infections caused by the use of the Sorin Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler system during heart surgery. If you have undergone open heart surgery recently, you may have been exposed to dangerous bacterial infections associated with mycobacterium chimaera and mycobacterium abscessus. Often, it takes several years for the infection to develop, so you may not even be aware that you’ve been exposed to these harmful bacteria.
If you’ve developed a bacterial infection caused by the Sorin Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your damages. You can learn about your legal rights and options by speaking with one of our defective medical device attorneys in person. Please call (803) 573-0070 today to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout South Carolina.
What is the Sorin Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System?
Heater-cooler systems are often used during surgery to regulate the body temperature of patients while they are undergoing their procedure. These devices are especially important to use in procedures involving the heart, lungs, esophagus and other chest organs.
The Sorin Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System is commonly used with open heart surgery procedures. It contains three separate water tanks that provide temperature-controlled water to heat exchangers, which then provide cooling or warmth to the patient’s body as necessary to ensure proper temperature regulation.
Sorin Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System and a Risk of Infection
Research has shown that it’s possible for the water used in the Sorin Stockert 3T systems to become contaminated, exposing patients to the dangerous mycobacterium chimaera and mycobacterium abscessus bacteria. According to the FDA, lab tests have found these bacteria in several Sorin Stockert 3T systems that were tested.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that patients undergoing open heart surgery procedures using a Sorin Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System have a 1% chance of developing one of these bacterial infections. Once a patient develops an infection, there is about a 50% chance of survival.
Currently, there have been several outbreaks of these dangerous infections in South Carolina. In addition, it is estimated that there may be more than 600,000 heart surgery patients nationwide dating back to 2012 that may be infected with these dangerous bacteria.
On June 1, 2016, the FDA issued a Safety Communication specific to mycobacterium chimaera infections associated with the use of Sorin 3T devices. Testing conducted by the manufacturer in August 2014 found mycobacterium chimaera contamination on the production line and water supply at the 3T manufacturing facility, yet these 3T devices were still distributed worldwide.
Symptoms of Mycobacterium Infection associated with Sorin Stockert 3T Systems
Patients who have undergone cardiac surgery should look for signs of endocarditis, surgical site infections, abscess, bacteremia, hepatitis, renal insufficiency, splenomegaly, pancytopenia and osteomyelitis.
The following are potential symptoms and complications that can occur up to four years after surgery:
- Redness, heat or pus at the surgical site
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Mycobacterium chimaera and mycobacterium abscessus infections can potentially be fatal, so it’s crucial to visit your doctor at once if you develop any of the symptoms listed above.
Sorin Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System Lawsuits
Lawsuits are already being filed on behalf of injured victims who developed bacterial infections caused by the Sorin Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System. These individuals fall into one of three categories:
- Patients who have had open chest surgery where a Sorin 3T device was used and the patient has been diagnosed with mycobacterium chimaera
- Patients who have had open chest surgery where a Sorin 3T device was used and the patient has been diagnosed with mycobacterium abscessus
- Patients who had open chest surgery where a Sorin 3T device was used and are not yet diagnosed with any mycobacteria infection, but they have received a letter from the hospital warning them to be aware of harmful or deadly infection exposure
Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be entitled to recover compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses caused by the infection
- Past and future mental pain and suffering caused by the infection, the treatment and the recovery process
- Past and future lost wages associated with the infection
- Other economic losses potentially sustained as a result of these injuries
- Funeral expenses, in cases associated with the wrongful death of a loved one
- Punitive damages, if appropriate
Contact our South Carolina Defective Medical Device Attorneys
Please contact McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates using the form on this page or call (803) 573-0070 today to schedule your free consultation. We serve patients in Camden, Sumter, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Columbia, Aiken and throughout South Carolina.