Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is notifying more than 2,300 patients about possible exposure to a deadly bacteria during open heart surgeries over the past four years.
The hospital announced it has identified three heart surgery patients who acquired the Nontuberculous Mycobacteria, or NTM, infection. Two of the patients have died. Both had complex medical conditions, and the hospital said it cannot at this time link the death to NTM. Nor can hospital officials say how the patients were infected. They said there is no indication that the bacteria stems from machines used to heat and cool patients during surgeries, as has been the case elsewhere.
Hershey Medical Center officials said they discovered the infections after an internal investigation of its patients that was prompted by the October announcement of a cluster of NTM infections announced at WellSpring York Hospital.
Ross Feller Casey is already investigating lawsuits on behalf of open heart surgery patients at York Hospital who were exposed to the same bacteria from the machines. At least eight patients there were infected with NTM, and four died.
Hershey Medical Center sent letters to about 2,300 patients who had surgeries at the hospital between Nov. 5, 2011 and Nov. 5, 2015.
Hospital and state Health Department officials are urging anyone who underwent open heart surgery during that period to see their physician as soon as possible.
Symptoms of NTM infections can include:
- Pain, redness, heat, or pus around a surgical incision
- Weight loss
- Night sweats
- Joint and Muscle pain
- Loss of energy
If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of Hershey Medical Center infections, you may be entitled to financial compensation through a hospital infection lawsuit. You should contact one of Ross Feller Casey’s experienced hospital infection lawyers soon for a free case evaluation.
Ross Feller Casey has successfully litigated numerous multi-million lawsuits involving hospital infections.
The firm handles all its cases, including hospital infection lawsuits, on a contingency basis, so you will not pay anything until a financial recovery is made in your case.