A Common Endoscopic Device May Cause Serious Infection and Death
Did you or someone you love undergo an endoscopic procedure? Did that procedure result in sepsis, a serious infection, or even death? The design of the device used during such procedures may be to blame. You or your loved one may be entitled to compensation.
Duodenoscopes are reusable medical devices commonly used for Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedures. ERCP procedures are used to evaluate or treat several gastrointestinal tract problems, such as draining fluids from pancreatic and biliary ducts blocked by cancerous tumors, gallstones or other conditions.
The devices are at the center of an outbreak of a “superbug” that is extremely difficult to treat. These tools, which consist of flexible tubes with lights and cameras, are hard to clean properly, a fact previously known by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and manufacturers like Olympus Corp, Pentax Medical, and Fujifilm Holdings Corp.
The Superbug (CRE)
The superbug, known as a carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), is a “multidrug resistant” bacteria which even the most potent antibiotics may not treat. One of the most recent outbreaks linked to contaminated duodenoscopes was reported at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, killing 2 patients and infecting 5 others; 179 additional individuals may have also been exposed. In 2012, a larger outbreak hit Seattle’s Virginia Mason Hospital. Over 30 days, 32 patients were infected and 7 died.
FDA Safety Alert
Following the outbreak at UCLA, the FDA issued a safety communication about duodenoscopes and how the design may impede effective cleaning. As they continue to evaluate these endoscopic devices, they make this recommendation to anyone undergoing Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP):
“Ask your doctor what to expect following the procedure and when to seek medical attention. Following ERCP, many patients may experience mild symptoms such as sore throat or mild abdominal discomfort. Call your doctor if, following your procedure, you have a fever or chills, or other symptoms that may be a sign of a more serious problem (such as chest pain, severe abdominal pain, trouble swallowing or breathing, nausea and vomiting, or black or tarry stools).”
Contact Sokolove Law to Discuss Your Legal Options
If you or someone you love underwent an endoscopic procedure and suffered serious infection, sepsis, or if a loved one’s injury resulted in death, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Sokolove Law today to learn more and to request a free consultation.
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