Duodenoscope Infection Lawsuits Contend Olympus’ Contaminated Medical Scopes Cause Superbug Infection That Leads To Sickness And Death.
Plaintiffs in duodenoscope infection lawsuits are learning, through a news report, that an independent investigator hired by Olympus Corp. advised the company to conduct a global investigation into its medical scopes that were linked to an infection outbreak. The investigator also called on Olympus to recall the medical scopes if similar problems occurred again, but the company did not heed the consultant’s call. As a result, the Tokyo-based Olympus Corp. is facing duodenoscope infection lawsuits that allege the company’s contaminated duodenoscopes have sickened and fatally injured patients on which the medical devices were used by transmitting Carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a “superbug” bacteria that is nearly resistant to antibiotics.
According to the Los Angeles Times report, the investigator and officials at the Dutch hospital where 22 patients were sickened, found the design of Olympus’ scope was defective because it allowed blood and tissue to become trapped. As a result, bacteria was transferred from one patient to another. Olympus’ inaction from the Netherlands investigation resulted in infection outbreaks occurring in several U.S. hospitals, including Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, where 18 people died and 21 were sickened by the superbug infection from 2012 to 2014. Additionally, two patients died and 39 were sickened by the CRE infection at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center from October 2014 to January 2015. Olympus maintains the infection outbreak was not caused by the scopes but by the hospitals which did not properly clean the devices.
[graphics.latimes.com/superbug-scope/, Los Angeles Times, December 19, 2015]
“According to the Los Angeles Times report, lives may have been saved had Olympus Corp. followed the advice of the investigator hired by the company,” says Dr. François Blaudeau, founder of Southern Med Law.
The Firm is investigating potential duodenoscope infection lawsuits on behalf of individuals who were diagnosed with a superbug infection following an ECRP procedure, or their surviving loved ones. To arrange for a free, no obligation legal consultation, please call Southern Med Law today, at (205) 547-5525. More information about this issue can be obtained by visiting www.southernmedlaw.com.
Duodenoscopes are used during procedures called, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). ERCP’s are conducted to diagnose and treat problems in the pancreas and bile ducts. Duodenoscopes are flexible enough to be inserted through a patient’s mouth, throat, stomach and into the top of the small intestine (the duodenum). This type of procedure allows doctors to treat medical conditions, such as gallstones and pancreatic cancer, without using more invasive surgery.
Since the outbreak has been occurring in the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings regarding duodenoscopes and the transmission of the CRE infection. In February, the FDA said it had received 75 medical device reports involving possible bacteria transmission from duodenoscopes to 135 patients. According to the federal regulatory agency, the design of the duodenoscope makes it difficult to clean, disinfect and sterilize even when hospitals are following the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. In addition to Olympus, the medical scopes are also manufactured by Fujifilm Medical Systems, U.S.A., Inc., and Hoya Corp. (Pentax Life Care Division).
[fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm434871.htm, FDA, March 4, 2015]
Court records show that patients or their survivors are filing lawsuits nationwide against Olympus Medical Systems Corp. over its duodenoscopes and the infections related to the medical device. The tainted scopes complaints contend that duodenoscopes transmit bacteria even when users properly follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.
About Southern Med Law and Filing A Duodenoscope Lawsuit: Southern Med Law is an experienced law firm providing legal representation to the men and women across the country who have been victims of negligent personal injuries, medical malpractice, dangerous drugs, faulty medical devices and defective products. Led by Dr. François Blaudeau, an attorney and a practicing obstetrician/ gynecologist, the legal staff at Southern Med Law possesses a deep understanding of the complex medical and legal questions at issue in all manner of product liability and personal injury claims. They’re not afraid to take on the nation’s largest corporations in their pursuit of justice, and are committed to ensuring that all victims have access to the type of aggressive legal advocacy that assures success.
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