Parents of infected children consider lawsuit against Children's Hospital, manufacturer

Updated: Sep. 12, 2017 at 8:54 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Some of the parents of Children's Hospital patients now dealing with an infection because of hospital equipment plan to file suit.

"Our goal and charge is to figure out what Children's Hospital knew, when and what they should have done," said plaintiff attorney Lawrence Centola.

The infections discovered so far happened during surgeries in June and July of this year, but hospital officials fear there could be more.

At this point, hospital officials say as many as a dozen children were infected with mycobacterium abscessus. The source may have been a device used for controlling the temperature of patients. That device, known as the Liva Nova Stockert 3t, was highlighted in a warning from the Centers for Disease control in October of 2016. That warning said,

"Although thousands of patients in the United States have been notified regarding potential exposure to contaminated heater-cooler devices, the number who were exposed might be much larger. Over 250,000 procedures using cardiopulmonary bypass are performed in the United States each year."

The Children's Hospital infections showed up nine months after the warning was issued.

"We were aware of the report. We had to 'Stockert three-t's' at the time. One was involved in the FDA advisory. They thought it may have come pre-contaminated from the factory with the different type of microbacteria. We got rid of it then we adopted advanced disinfecting techniques that they advocated at that time," said Children's Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Heaton.

But the children became infected anyway.

The attorneys say they are also investigating filing a product liability suit against the manufacturer.

Family members tell FOX 8 an infectious disease expert from a hospital in Tyler, Texas spoke to parents Monday. A spokesperson for Children's Hospital said the hospital has assumed all cost of treatment for families affected by this infection.

Heaton said the affected children are responding well to treatment with antibiotics. The hospital said it has discontinued use of the Stockert heater cooler.

Copyright 2017 WVUE, All rights reserved.