Did I post up about the recall notice I got about my open-heart surgery? I meant to...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by digitalwanderer, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    My life's been a bit busy lately and I can't remember if I mentioned it or asked what I wanted to ask about it.

    Did I mention that about a month ago I got a letter from the hospital I had the surgery done at informing me that the "Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler System" "may have been contaminated during the manufacturing process with Mycobacterium chimaera, a type of bacteria know as nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM)"

    It bothered me, mostly because the bugger isn't detectable until it's active and its gestation period can be anywhere from months to years...no one really knows for certain. It is treatable if it is detected in time, but from what I've been reading the only way to test for it is with bone marrow sampling...which sounds unpleasant.

    Now I spoke with my mother briefly about this because she was a lawyer for about 30 years and I sort of trust her opinions on this stuff. This is the first time when I asked her if I should sue someone where she said, "OH YEAH! Most definitely! If not for you for your family!" I coincidentally had a cardiologists appointment the day after I got the letter and they told me I should contact the blood warmer/cooler manufacturer to see what I should do.

    Question, what should I do? My mother no longer practices law and my lawyer has always been republican but now they're a huge Trump supporter so I'm not sure I want to go with them. I've been meaning to sit down and chat with my Mom about it and see what she suggests, but she's got her own problems going on and we just haven't had the chance.

    Any advice? I feel fine, the chances of me being infected are very low and I would have better-than-most chance of surviving it I feel...but the symptoms are so vague that they could be from a common cold. (fatigue, fever, pain, muscle pain, joint pain, etc) So I'll be a bit more worried any time I feel sick from now on.

    Should I call the manufacturer and then talk to a lawyer, or lawyer up before I do anything, or just ignore it and hope it never happens?
     
  2. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    No harm talking to them first. At the very least they should commit to covering any and all costs you might incur, but how do you know how long they'll be around?
     
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  3. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    My mom got back to me by e-mail about an hour ago and told me to go to an online site that specialized in these cases and get a case analysis. I did so and gave them my preliminary info, they'll be in touch. (Well, if they think I have a case and if they think they can make a buck off it.)

    That "how long will they'll be around?" bit got to me. They purposely buried this back in 14 when they found out about it internally and kept the info confidential until 2016. If they'd issued that information, there very likely wouldn't be any cases after 14 as they would have addressed the problem. There's a 2-3 minute video on that site that explains it pretty well, and it annoyed me because I got my surgery in late Dec of 2015 and if they'd have disclosed there is no way I'd have been in any danger of exposure.

    I think they're gonna get sued out of existence before my 7 year wait is up. :(
     
  4. Silent_Buddha

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    Yes, definitely talk to them first. They'll be in the best position to inform you of what may need to be done. That information would also be important if, in the future, you decide to file a lawsuit.

    And what does your current lawyer being a Trump supporter have to do with anything? I work with people from various political affiliations every year and their political affiliation has never interfered with our business dealings.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  5. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    If I have to explain it, you can't understand. :(
     
  6. Silent_Buddha

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    I suppose not as I don't judge people by their political leanings.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  7. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    The cover-up part is very disturbing. That makes the likelihood of a class action very high which would mean almost nothing for the victims as the lawyers swoop in for their big payday.

    As such, I'd lean towards lawyering up and getting a nice settlement ASAP.

    SB, are you in the US? The divide between trumpeters and normal citizenry here is rather insane.
     
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  8. Silent_Buddha

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    Yes, it's all stupid. Regardless what a person's political leanings are, people are just people. However, in the past 10-20 years it's become more and more difficult to have a reasoned political discussion with people from either party. Hence, there's only certain people on both sides of the isle that I talk politics with anymore. Outside of that I just humor them.

    Right now one side starts talking, the other side try's to drown out their talk which just causes the other side to try to talk louder which then prompts the other group to start shouting louder, ad nauseam. It's a vicious cycle that serves no purpose. And fewer and fewer people, seemingly, on both sides respect the rights of others to hold different opinions than themselves or the group they belong to.

    What's worse is that now we have hoodlums wearing masks inciting violence at what would otherwise be peaceful (albeit distasteful depending on your political leaning) rallies and marches.

    It's a shame as there's delightfully intelligent people on both sides, even if the degenerates on both sides often overshadows that fact.

    Regards,
    SB
     
    #8 Silent_Buddha, Apr 20, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
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  9. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    I spend considerable time and effort with those opposed to many of my views, but, perhaps owing to my bizarre situation, I tend to get through more often than not. Finding common ground and validating portions of the concerns held by others goes a long way.
     
  10. tangey

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    This got quite a bit of coverage in the UK about a month ago.

    https://www.england.nhs.uk/2017/03/...k-of-infection-caused-by-heater-cooler-units/


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/a...osed-deadly-infection-contaminated-tools.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4237594/Devices-used-NHS-valve-surgery-contaminated.html

    Dailymail is known to be rather "sensational" but it's probably worth a read. They reported on it twice, 6 months apart, but the 2nd time sounds like it's the first time they'd heard of it !
     
  11. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    @tangey they sensationalize it by reporting as if it was their first time hearing it.

    @digitalwanderer dunno how about in the US, but in my country (when having problem with big Corp/authority/person/etc) it's better to get lawyered-up before you talk to them.

    Because they can fuck you up with nice words that may or may not legally binding or legally correct or etc.

    Their response also different and better, when talking to people that know their rights and can cite a few law clauses.
     
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  12. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Just got off the phone with the internet attorney's secretary, (yeah, right!), and gave them my preliminaries. They'll have a lawyer look at it and get back to me in 2-3 business days.

    Some good news, I don't need a bone marrow sample to find out if i have the disease! Just gotta tell the doc to check a culture for MTN, which I have no idea how easy/expensive/common that is.

    If nothing else I'm learning a lot. :)

    Sorry 'bout the Trump bit, but my lawyer is my Mom's best friend and has been since they met in law school some 35 years ago. She's always been an extreme republican and that has never gotten in our way before and we call her "Saint Barb" since she's saved us so many times. She sends my kids a card EVERY holiday with $5 for each of them in it, and I don't want to cause friction with her by accidentally talking politics.

    Also this isn't her area of specialization and she'd have to spend a hell of a lot of time on it, so my Mum suggested I hunt on the internet for a good lawyer who specializes in this particular type of case, a blood warming machine MTN specialist which is what I did. They should be able to tell me realistically what my options are, they've done it many times before.

    Also, my mother's husband is/has been dying for the last year or so now of congenital heart failure so she's sort of pre-occupied and has her own plate full. I'm going over there this afternoon with the kids to help her move some furniture around and take some garbage out for them that's too heavy. (See? I CAN be a good boy! :p )

    I just hate this feeling like the sword of Damacles is hanging over my head. Logically I know I'll be fine even if I do happen to get it, but there's this little nagging bit that keeps saying, "But what if you're not, what if you don't have everything go right and get all lucky with it like usual? What then?", so I'm pursuing this.

    I'm mainly not using my normal lawyer because my Mommy told me so, alright? I don't want to do anything to mess up their friendship, Barb is family to us.
     
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  13. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Same thing with cops. No matter how nice they are to you, if they're arresting you just pleasantly tell them you'd prefer not to make any statements until you get a chance to speak to legal counsel and THAT'S ALL YOU SAY! (My mom beat that one in to me in my teens too, it was weird having a mom going to law school while I was becoming a deviant in high school.)
     
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  14. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Got a letter from them saying they're not interested. Apparently I'm too healthy and they make easy money of people who get infected, so if I ever DO get infected I should give them a call.

    They also did the usual disclaimers about I should seek another lawyers opinion as often they disagree. (To cover their asses)

    Basically it was a fuck off, we can't make money off you...which I guess is sort of a good thing since it means I really am in a terrible category for being a candidate for it.

    Don't know what I'm gonna do next, might right the company a very polite letter explaining the letters I got from my hospital and asking them what I should be doing about it and if there was any special testing and such. Then in follow up letters slowly build up to how much will these cost and I don't really want to pay for them. No harm, no foul as long as I'm careful...and I'm gonna cheat and have my mom who practiced contractual law for the last 10 years of her career or so okays it first. (I went and moved a couple of end tables around for her and moved her computer so they could make room for a desk, she was so over joyed we came to do it the day after she e-mailed asking that I don't think she'll mind perusing it. I didn't go there to get the favor, I went there 'cause she needed help..but she doesn't mind returning the favor in her area of expertise. :) )

    So basically a big pile of nothing, but I'm no worse than before.
     
  15. Silent_Buddha

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    Always make sure to reach out to the company first. Chances are they'll act in good faith. If they don't then they'll be open to a lawsuit. Make sure to document everything. Send things by registered mail when you can as it provides proof that you sent something and they received it. That makes it harder for them to deny that you attempted to contact them if they don't ever reply, etc.

    Basically just make sure to document everything in case it's needed.

    It also wouldn't hurt to seek a second opinion from another doctor.

    But most of all, don't get tied up in knots about this. Chances are nothing bad will happen. And if something bad is going to happen, it's going to happen regardless and hopefully you catch it soon enough.

    Continue living your life as you would if none of this had happened.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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  16. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    It's quite curious if you ask me because to me republicans and democrats are like the same dog with a different collar. :( They are right winged parties in my eyes, not much differs I think. :(

    US politics are so...meh. Where I am from there are 4 parties fighting for elections. Look at the Dutch too, they have a LOT of parties for such a small country, from liberal, to ecologists, to conservative...there are like 20 parties that have a chance to govern the country via negotiation.

    Good luck digitalwanderer, my best wishes
     
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  17. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    I agree and disagree with you. I do find both parties pretty much out for the wealthy and special interests, but the dems have less scary special interests than the repubs usually.

    Personally I'm independent as neither party is liberal enough for me.

    Thanks for the well wishes, I'm sure it'll all turn out ok. It always does. :)
     
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