CDC Confirms Serious Danger Present in Heater-Cooler Devices Used During Heart Surgeries at Local Hospitals

Written by Atlee Hall

Several months ago, Atlee Hall posted an article about the role of a manufacturer in causing severe bacterial infections in patients who had open heart surgery at several central Pennsylvania hospitals.  A few days ago, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed this danger.

To summarize, it had been alleged that the Sorin 3T heater-cooler devices manufactured by Sorin Group Deutschland and distributed by Sorin Group USA in Arvada, Colorado, contained Nontuberculous Mycobacteria chimaera, which contaminated patients at local hospitals during open heart surgical procedures.  The CDC referred to a recent study published in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reportwhich confirmed that genome sequencing from patients with confirmed bacterial infections matched bacteria samples taken from contaminated machines.   The study identifies contamination of the devices at the company’s manufacturing plant in Munchen, Germany.

While many hospitals have not yet disclosed patient infections to date, Pennsylvania hospitals inPhiladelphiaYork, and Dauphin counties have revealed the presence of infections.  Most recently, Penn Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia has confirmed that several of its patients have been diagnosed with the infection.  It is expected that the number of confirmed cases will continue to grow after the publication of this study since the Sorin devices comprise approximately 60% of the market for these devices.

Since the danger was first disclosed in Central Pennsylvania about a year ago, Atlee Hall has been on the forefront of this investigation and litigation. We are continuing to investigate these matters and represent clients who have confirmed cases of NTM bacterial infections.  We expect to file suit in Philadelphia County in one such case in the very near future, and encourage affected patients to call our attorneys for a consultation.