Endoscope Infection Lawsuits Expected Following Patient Deaths and Recall

A New York Times article reports “that difficult-to-clean medical scopes inserted down the throat might be infecting patients with deadly drug-resistant bacteria.” Medical device lawyers anticipate endoscope infection lawsuits lawsuits against the manufacturer based on intestinal scope deaths alleging a defect in the design and manufacture of a device that would cause injury due to an inability to properly clean it. On January 15, 2016, an Olympus endoscope recall was announced.

If you have been injured, or a loved one killed, due to complications from the use of a medical device, contact Attorney Group to learn about your options for pursuing a claim for compensation. We offer free, no-obligation consultations, and if you have a case we can connect you to an experienced defective medical device attorney who can assist you with your claim.

Intestinal Scopes Linked to Intestinal Scope Deaths
Patient Deaths

According to the article, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert to healthcare providers about the dangers of a type of germs known as a CRE “superbug” on certain types of intestinal scopes after seven patients fell ill and two died at a Los Angeles Hospital. Healthcare providers linked the deadly germs to duodenum intestinal scopes that have characterized as “difficult to clean.” The purpose of the scopes is to help diagnose diseases of the liver, pancreas and other organs.

The presence of the “superbugs” on the medical devices is cause for particular concern. The article states that:

“The family of germs, known as CRE, which stands for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, are deadly because they are resistant even to last-resort antibiotics.

The CRE germs usually strike people receiving medical care in hospitals or nursing homes, including patients on breathing machines or dependent on catheters. Healthy people are rarely, if ever, affected. But the bugs attack broadly, and the infections they cause are not limited to people with severely compromised immune systems….”

The scopes at issue, supplied by the Olympus Medical Systems Group, had reportedly been sterilized “according to the manufacturer’s standards.”

UPDATE – Olympus Endoscope Recall Announced

On January 15, 2106, Olympus announced a recall of its troubled medical scopes. According to SFGate.com:

Olympus announced the recall just two days after a U.S. Senate health committee criticized the device makers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and hospitals for being slow to report the infections and alert the public. A committee report cited 25 recent infections in patients worldwide, including two in Los Angeles, that it linked to the devices.

The article also notes that the Olympus endoscope recall came “on the same day it received federal approval for a redesigned device the company and regulators hope will end outbreaks of deadly drug-resistant infections linked to the recalled scope.”

Endoscope Infection Lawsuits Expected

Medical device makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their devices, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a device maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.

Patients who suffer from an endoscope infection may be entitled to compensation for damages, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • The permanency of the injury
  • Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
  • Loss of income or ability to work

If a patient dies from complications related to an endoscope infection, family members may be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:

  • Conscious pain and suffering of a loved one prior to death
  • Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from the loss of a loved one
  • Funeral expenses

Affected patients and their families are encourage to seek the advice of an endoscope infection lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.

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