Seven patients have been infected with a deadly superbug at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. CRE, also known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, is highly resistant to antibiotics and can kill one out of two infected patients. So far, two of the seven victims at UCLA have died from their infections.
The superbug outbreak is caused by a defective medical device: the Olympus duodenoscope, which is used to perform a procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP. During this procedure, doctors use the Olympus duoenoscope to examine and treat conditions like cancer and issues of the digestive system by threading the thin device down the patient’s throat.
It was not until after the infections were reported that the Food and Drug Administration warned hospitals about the difficulty of cleaning and sanitizing the devices. The Los Angeles Times has reported three lawsuits against the manufacturer that have arisen following the death of one patient and infection of two others. Almost all of the lawsuits make the claim that Olympus was negligent and fraudulent for selling the defective scopes to the hospitals where they received treatment.
Olympus claims it is working on developing “additional safeguards to prevent infection associated with endoscopic procedures including ERCP.” If you or a loved one has been affected by an Olympus duodenoscope, do not hesitate to contact an attorney today.
Sources: 1 & 2