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Infected Medical Scopes Causing Superbug Outbreaks

Steve Wagner

If you were following medical news back in 2013, you may have seen the deadly outbreak of superbugs that affected at least eight hospitals across the country, including large cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, and Chicago. The outbreak was a result of contaminated medical scopes that were not being properly cleaned between uses. The hospitals were relying on automated endoscope reprocessors (AERs) to disinfect duodenoscopes between uses, a process that reportedly killed as much as 99.9999% of the bacteria that ended up on the scopes as a result of being placed down patients’ throats.

The superbugs that were spread as a result of bacteria left on these scopes were antibiotic resistant and had a mortality rate of as much as 40%.

The FDA has been reviewing the safety of this process for over a year now, but did not approach the manufacturers of the machines asking for updated testing until the last few weeks. The scopes are reportedly incredibly difficult to clean, and this process is in desperate need of updating in order to eliminate the risk of future outbreaks like the one in 2013.

While the scopes that were involved in the outbreaks have since been cleaned by government cleared machines to eliminate any remaining bacteria, until the manufacturers and FDA step up to change the process, the risk for contamination still exists. You can read the full report on the investigation and efforts to update the process from USA Today.

If you have suffered illness, or the loss of a loved one due to contaminated medical equipment, the medical malpractice attorneys at Wagner Reese can assist you in receiving the compensation you deserve as a result of your suffering. Since the FDA is behind in their duties and operating on outdated information, take your safety into your own hands and call us today at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation.


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