Sadly, a new superbug that killed two people at a hospital in California could be spreading to patients nationwide because of a certain medical device.
According to NJ.com, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a safety warning about germs associated with commonly used medical scopes. The warning was issued in February after officials at the Ronald Reagan Medical Center at UCLA revealed that 180 patients might have been exposed to a drug-resistant bacterium from devices.
According to the FDA, the devices in question are endoscopes or duodenoscopes. According to reports, the devices may have been designed in a way that makes them hard to clean. The devices, used in an estimated 500,000 procedures each year, are inserted through the mouth, throat or into the stomach and commonly used for biopsies or to inject dyes for tests, according to NJ.com.
The illness people have developed following procedures is reportedly resistant to Carbapenem, a drug that is considered a “last resort” antibiotic, according to the website. “Meticulously cleaning duodenoscopes prior to high-level disinfection should reduce the risk of transmitting infection, but may not entirely eliminate it,” the FDA said.
NJ.com reported that the FDA is “closely monitoring” the association between re-used or “reprocessed” endoscopes and the transmission of infectious bacteria.
The website reported that officials in New Jersey are also monitoring the issue. “Hospital-acquired infections are the leading cause of medical errors,” said David Knowlton, president and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, according to NJ.com.
The FDA said that facilities should “implement a comprehensive quality control program for reprocessing the scopes.”
Having a Defective Medical Device Investigated
As these warnings show, defective or unsterile medical devices can result in serious illnesses and death. Healthcare providers have an obligation to provide a safe product to their patients—this includes making sure all devices are properly cleaned and disinfected.
If a medical device has injured you, it may be in your best interest to have your case investigated by an attorney. You may be able to recover compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering. An attorney may be able to help determine if the device used was defective and/or if you were the victim of medical malpractice.
Targan Pender & Strickland, P.C. – Atlantic City Accident Attorneys