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Contaminated Heart Surgery Machines Spread Deadly Infection

Doctors have been concerned about a bacterium, Mycobacterium chimaera, that has been spreading to patients during heart surgery across the nation. The bacteria gets transmitted from infected cooling machines, onto heart surgery implants, which then infects patients' blood. So far, there are 110 cases known, and half of those infected died. According to the University of Iowa, the contaminated machines release the bacteria, which can land on any other devices in the room—increasing the chances of infection.

The University of Iowa also claims that the issue traces back to a flaw with the design of blood-cooling machines. For that reason, doctors believed that the bacteria was only present in certain brands of blood-cooling machines because of factory contamination. However, doctors have recently reported that other machines are also infected. There is no way to decontaminate these blood cooling machines.

Mycobacterium Chimaera Infection

One of the major dangers of M. chimaera is that it creates indestructible “biofilm” once it gets into an implant, which prevents antibiotics from penetrating. It also causes reseeding bacteria in the bloodstream, which can spread the bacteria to other parts of the body. Since treating patients with antibiotics doesn’t work, the only solution is to perform surgery to replace the implant. Another danger is that it can take months or even years for an infected person to show any symptoms. Common symptoms include weight loss, tiredness, and night sweats. According to the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, even if a hospital has had one infection, there is a low chance for it to happen to another patient—the possibilities are between 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 100. However, lab test results are showing that it can occur more often than previously suspected.

Call Our Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Attorneys for a Free Case Review: (888) 498-3023

If you have diagnosed with Mycobacterium chimaera infection, it is vital to seek help from an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. These cases have been found throughout Pennsylvania, including in York. In fact, it has been reported that more than a thousand patients at WellSpan York Hospital may have been exposed to this potentially fatal bacteria. Medical malpractice cases take incredible resources to investigate, and litigate. Our firm is devoted to helping clients injured and wronged by medical facilities so they can obtain the compensation they deserve to recover from their injuries. We have the resources, time, and experience to get patients back on their feet while investigating exactly what caused their medical situation. Our Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorneys are here to help you every step of the way.

Contact us today at (888) 498-3023 for a free consultation. We are ready to help you get the care you deserved in the first place.

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