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Are hospitals or medical scope companies to blame for Superbug breakouts?

Written by Ankin Law Office

The price of liability can be extremely high. A medical malpractice lawyer in Lake County understands that when doctors, staff or manufacturers make medical mistakes, they are not likely to readily admit their errors. This has been clearly seen in a recent outbreak of a superbug at California hospital Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. CNN reports that affected patients all underwent an endoscope procedure with the same devices and shortly thereafter fell ill. At least seven patients were infected with the deadly bacteria, two of whom died in connection with their infections.

Hospital officials have determined that the superbug CRE, or carbapenem-resistent Enterobacteriaceae, is to blame for all the infections. They also concluded that two scopes infected with the superbug were the method of transfer from patient to patient. The hospital maintains that the bacteria remained present on the scopes even after disinfectant procedures were properly followed, but the device manufacturer denies their scopes are dangerous.

This situation has patients wondering who is to blame for the spread of the dangerous bacteria – the hospital or the manufacturers of the scopes. Both entities may have been negligent and contributed to the situations that led to the infections.

What is a superbug?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a superbug is a germ or family of germs that are difficult to kill due to their high resistance to antibiotics. CRE is a family of bacteria that include Escherichia coli and other normal gut bacteria that can be deadly if they become too abundant and do not respond to treatment with carbapenem, a type of antibiotic. A medical malpractice lawyer in Lake County knows that if these bugs are not properly treated, they can cause patients extreme pain and may be fatal.

Determining liability

While the jury often make the ultimate determination of liability in these medical malpractice claims, injured patients can do their best to determine who may be to blame for their injuries. According to CNN, the scope manufacturers made serious modifications to the area of the scope that has been implicated in spreading the offending superbugs from patient to patient. They failed, however, to seek approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell the device after these modifications were made.

In response to learning about the oversight, the FDA has requested that all companies with similar scope designs, including the device in question, prove that the scopes can be disinfected and rid of 99.9999 percent of microbes. However, after two attempts, none of the devices have passed. In response, the hospital has reiterated its claims that the fault lies with the manufacturers who are liable for their product’s dangerous design.

Those who have been injured by a medical device or negligent healthcare professional can seek compensation with the help of a medical malpractice lawyer in Lake County.

Categories: Medical Malpractice