What is a Heater-Cooler?

A heater-cooler is a device placed inside a patient’s body during surgery to keep his or her body temperature at a consistent, safe level. They are most commonly used in surgeries on the heart or lungs. The devices control patients’ temperatures by moving water through a small unit where it is air-cooled to an appropriate temperature.

There have been numerous class action lawsuits filed against LivaNova PLC, the manufacturer of 3T heater-coolers. This specific brand of heater-coolers has been linked to illnesses associated with bacterial contamination in patients. When a patient suffers a worsened health condition because of a defective medical device, he or she can seek compensation for his or her related damages through a defective medical device claim.

Issues that Can Arise with Heater-Coolers

A heater-cooler works by cycling water through a temperature control tank. When the water completes its cycle, it is released into the air as water vapor. When water is contaminated with harmful bacteria, it poses a serious threat of infection to patients with weakened immune systems.

Patients who come into contact with Mycobacterium chimaera through a heater-cooler used during surgery are at risk of developing the following conditions:

  • Endocarditis;
  • Bacteremia;
  • Hepatitis;
  • Pancytopenia;
  • Splenomegaly;
  • Renal insufficiency;
  • Infection at the surgical site; and
  • Osteomyelitis.

Seeking Compensation for Your Heater-Cooler Injury Damages

With a defective medical device, there are a few different parties who can potentially be at fault and thus, liable for the victim’s damages. These parties include the patient’s doctor, the hospital where the device was used, and the device’s manufacturer or distributor.

A doctor who knowingly uses a recalled medical device may be the negligent party in a defective device claim. Similarly, a hospital where such devices are in use or a hospital where devices are used incorrectly could be the negligent party.

Currently, there are class action lawsuits in place against the manufacturer of the 3T heater-coolers. A class action lawsuit is a claim made on behalf of a group of victims of the same act of negligence. If your case is similar enough to the cases of others involved in a class action lawsuit, you can seek compensation as part of one.

You can also file your own defective medical device claim if you do not want to be involved in a class action lawsuit or if your situation is substantially different from others in the group. An experienced lawyer can help you determine if participating in a class action lawsuit would benefit your case.

Work with an Experienced Chicago Defective Medical Device Attorney

If you or a loved one are suffering from an illness or injury related to a defective heater-cooler, contact an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney to discuss your right to collect monetary compensation for your damages through a defective medical device claim. To get started, contact our team at Newland & Newland, LLP to schedule your initial consultation in our office. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.

(image courtesy of Piron Guillaume)

  • Newland & Newland LLP, Attorneys, Arlington Heights, IL
  • Lawyer.com