Open-heart surgery is a very serious procedure that poses substantial risks on its own. Recently, a number of hospitals in Illinois and around the nation have warned patients who underwent open-heart surgery that they could be at risk for contracting a dangerous infection due to contaminated medical equipment. Patients who may have been exposed to the infected equipment are being sent letters to warn them and to urge them to undergo tests immediately.
The contaminated device in question is a heater-cooler unit that surgeons use to keep a patient stable while undergoing open-heart surgery. According to recent estimates, roughly 60 percent of open-heart bypass surgeries in the United States use the device in question.
According to the CDC, the contamination could have occurred at the time the device was manufactured. Regarding the potential outbreak, a spokesperson for the FDA said that the infections are highly invasive and could be life-threatening for many patients, posing a risk of serious illness and even death in some cases.
The manufacturer of the device has set up a telephone hotline that patients and families of potentially infected victims can call if they have questions about the situation. It has also sent letters to physicians, surgeons, cardiologists, and other health care professionals so that they know to monitor any potentially affected patients for signs of the infection. Common symptoms associated with the infection include muscle aches, weight loss, night sweats, and fatigue.
It is vitally important to note that the infection is slow-growing and difficult to diagnose. It could take a number of months or even a few years before doctors are able to diagnose an infection and link it to the medical device.
If you recently underwent open-heart surgery, you could be at risk of contracting this dangerous and potentially deadly infection. It is critical that you contact your health care provider immediately to ensure your health and safety.
Any patient who contracts the infection as a result of this medical device can bring a personal injury claim against the manufacturer. The plaintiff can assert both a negligence claim alleging that the manufacturer failed to act with due care in designing, producing, and marketing the device as well as a strict liability claim. In this latter cause of action, the plaintiff must show that the device is unreasonably dangerous. The standard a plaintiff must meet to show an unreasonable danger varies from state to state. Any patient who underwent an open-heart surgical procedure using these devices may file a claim even if they are not currently experiencing any symptoms.
At Moll Law Group, our defective medical device attorneys have assisted many victims with seeking compensation from a medical device manufacturer. We understand how difficult and stressful this time is for you and your loved ones. We serve clients in Illinois, California, Texas, New York, and elsewhere in the United States. Our diligent, tenacious, and seasoned personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation so that you can learn more about your legal options and how we may be able to help you. Call us now at 312-462-3200 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.