Symptoms of a Nontuberculous Mycobacteria Lung Infection

Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) may be harmless to most people, but can be deadly for those whose immune systems are compromised. If you have a weakened immune system or you recently underwent open-heart surgery involving a heater-cooler device, you need to be alert to the signs you may have an NTM infection.

A Deceptive Illness

NTM infections can involve a number of different symptoms, or no symptoms at all. You may feel relatively fine or you might experience a severe cough, sudden weight loss or extreme fatigue. In most cases, symptoms are associated with a severe infection.

There are two groups of NTM symptoms; the first group affects the lungs while the other symptoms affect the entire body.

Lung-related symptoms include:

  • A persistent cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath

Whole-body symptoms include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever
  • Sweating at night
  • Unexpected weight loss

NTM Infection Causes

Many people who develop an NTM infection have an accompanying condition such as a weakened immune system or lung disease. However, people who underwent open-heart surgery are also at a heightened risk. This type of surgery typically involves the use of a heater-cooler device, which helps to keep the body at a safe temperature during the procedure.

Unfortunately, there have been many cases reported of certain devices spraying water contaminated with NTM throughout an operating room. When this happens and water enters an open body cavity, a person can easily develop a potentially severe NTM infection.

If you experience any of the symptoms of an NTM infection and you either have a weakened immune system or had open-heart surgery using a heater-cooler device, get to your doctor immediately. If the latter applies to you, there is a chance you’ll be eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the device. Call Baron & Budd at 866-626-3371 or complete our contact form to learn more.

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