If you had heart or lung surgery and suffered a serious infection, you may be entitled to a cash award.
Patients who have undergone surgery since 2012 that involved opening the chest, such as open heart surgery, heart bypass, or lung surgery, may be at risk of a life-threatening infection. This infection is linked to a heater-cooler system used in operating rooms. The heater-cooler system may release bacteria that can enter the body through the open chest cavity during surgery. If you or a loved one suffered a serious infection after surgery that involved opening the chest, call the Gold Shield Group at 800-578-7392.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued an advisory warning about the risk of infection associated with heater-cooler units. Heater-cooler units are used to regulate the body temperature of patients undergoing surgery. Patients undergoing heart and lung surgeries that involve opening the chest may have been exposed to a bacterium called nontuberculous mycobacteria, or NTM. While NTM is treatable, it can also be fatal.
At the York Hospital in Pennsylvania alone, eight patients were diagnosed with NTM; five of those patients ultimately died. According to the CDC, there are at least 28 patients with confirmed cases of NTM in the U.S., but there are an unknown number of cases that may not have been reported. It can take more than a year of treatment with antibiotics to cure a case of NTM.
Symptoms of NTM include:
• Fever lasting more than one week
• Pus around a surgical incision
• Night sweats
• Joint pain
• Muscle pain
• Loss of energy
• In infants, failure to gain weight or grow
If you or a loved one suffered a serious infection after surgery that involved opening the chest, call the Gold Shield Group at 800-578-7392 or fill out our form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.