Concern over infections tied to open-heart surgery devices
While heart surgery can be a serious matter in an Indiana hospital, medical advances have allowed for greater access to procedures such as valve replacement. At the same time, surgeries involve risks that could lead to negative outcomes. Infection is a major concern in surgical environments, and those performing surgeries take numerous precautions to protect their patients from infections. However, some causes of infection might take time to recognize, especially if those affected suffer vague symptoms that take months or even years to surface. Such is the case related to an open-heart surgery device that may be linked to patient infections.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning about a heater-cooler device used during heart surgery to maintain a patient’s blood at proper temperatures. Blood must be rerouted during surgeries such as valve replacement to ensure optimum results, and the device helps with the circulatory diversion. Contamination with Mycobacterium chimaera has apparently occurred while this device is used because the material leaves the water in the unit that is used to manage the temperature of a patient’s blood. The bacteria can move into the air supply in the operating room, which allows it to settle on items used during surgery.
Awareness is viewed as an important factor in protecting those going through heart surgery, and hospitals have been encouraged to review the equipment used in these procedures. It is estimated that at least half of patients affected in this manner have died.
An individual facing surgery might sign documents acknowledging the possibility for negative outcomes. In some cases, a negative outcome could be due to a surgical error while in others the cause could be a dangerous product. Patients who have been harmed during a procedure may want to meet with an attorney to explore their options for seeking compensation.