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DNA Links Contaminated Heater-Cooler Devices to German Factory

A new study has found that heater-cooler devices were contaminated during the manufacturing process in Germany.

Contamination at a German factory that makes heater-cooler devices used during open-heart surgery and other invasive procedures is the likely source of a global outbreak of deadly infections tied to the devices, a recent study has found.

Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one suffered an infection after surgery with a heater-cooler machine, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.

What’s the Problem?

July 14, 2017 – Researchers using whole-genome sequencing matched the DNA of samples taken from contaminated heart surgery patients in several other countries to samples from heater-cooler units in multiple hospitals and at the production site, according to Kaiser Health News.

For the study, the scientists looked at 250 DNA samples of Mycobacterium chimaera, a group of slow-growing bacteria that causes respiratory infections or severe disease in people with compromised immune systems.

The analysis included samples from:

  • 21 infected patients in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom
  • Another group of 12 in the U.S. and Australia
  • Heater-cooler devices by LivaNova
  • Heater-coolers manufactured by a second German brand, Maquet
  • Hospital water sources
  • Environmental sources

Scientists found a high degree of similarity in samples taken from the infected patients and those extracted from LivaNova heater-cooler units and the LivaNova factory.

The study, published Wednesday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, ultimately determined that heater-cooler devices manufactured at the LivaNova PLC plant in Munich, Germany, were contaminated during production. This finding solves the mystery behind more than 100 severe — in some cases fatal — infections in heart surgery patients since 2013.

Do I Have a Heater-Cooler Lawsuit?

The Medical Device Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in heater-cooler lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.

Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you developed an infection after undergoing a surgical procedure with a heater-cooler device, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.

Free Confidential Case Evaluation

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