Operating rooms are some of the most sterile places, and that is how it should be, but what happens if there is something in the room that is not sterilized? It leaves you prone to different diseases and also endangers your life. This is a danger you face with heater-cooler devices present in the room.
During a surgery, it is of utmost importance to keep the body temperature of the patient regulated. This is done by using heater-cooler devices. They are used in different medical and surgical procedures. The fluctuation of temperature is done using water tanks present in the heater-cooler device. The tanks provide water to the external heat exchangers or the cooling blankets.
Now, the problem is that this water cooler is the only unsterilized item in the operating room. During an open-chest surgery, the defense mechanism of the body is down, and the chances of infection rise quite high. One of the most common infections that occur then is Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria or NTM.
A lot of Heater-Cooler Device Lawsuit filers suffer from NTM. This is because the device was a common equipment in their operating rooms.
What is NTM?
Non-tuberculous Mycobacteria is an infection that leads to a variety of diseases including different types of illnesses. Due to the extent of cases filed and the accusations made, the Centers for Disease Control issued a warning to all healthcare providers in 2016 that their heater-cooler devices may be causing severe infections in patients.
The Food and Drug Administration responded by issuing warnings about the contamination of these devices. Around a staggering 250,000 surgeries had this device as an essential part of the operation, after which, there have been several detected cases of NTM infections while many have even filed lawsuits claiming that they were not informed about the potential harms of using a heater-cooler prior to the operation.
The manufacturers of these heater-coolers have laid out a set of guidelines they believe will keep the devices free from infection. They said that regular maintenance of the device will keep it free from potential infections.
However, the FDA has not yet approved of the said guidelines. They are working with the manufacturers of the device to make sure that the protocols the manufacturer has provided for proper maintenance and safety of use actually work.
Hiring a Lawyer
If you are a victim of diseases related to the use of an infected heater-cooler, you can file a lawsuit. It is always recommended that you hire a lawyer to get the job done for you. Hiring a lawyer will not only help you file a claim, but ensure that you get settled for the right amount.
Personal injury lawyers fight such cases on a regular basis, and know the best ways to get your claim settled. In most cases, payments to these lawyers are only made as a percentage of the settlement. In other words, you wouldn’t have to pay for the lawyer from your pocket.
All the plaintiffs filing for Heater-Cooler Device Lawsuits are people who underwent surgeries using a heater cooler device. They claimed that their bodies were exposed to harmful bacteria, and if it weren’t for the device, they wouldn’t be suffering from NTM now.