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Reusable Medical Devices Linked to Deadly Infections

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

reusable medical devices, Chicago medical malpractice lawyerReusable medical devices, like the duodenoscope, have led to deaths due to not being able to sterilize them sufficiently. Why does it take so long to update sterilization standards for reusable medical devices? This is a cause for concern, but the new standards are not required to be used on existing products on the market, even though that is where the concern and problems began. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is only requiring new products to adhere to new rules, stricter guidelines, and more testing.

Multiple deaths and infections, starting as early as 2012, have been linked to a deadly bacterial infection caused by a deodenoscope that was not completely sterilized because of the small crevices in the scope and the internal tubing. A duodenoscope is a device that is used to diagnose and treat diseases in the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. It is inserted through a patient’s throat while they are being given general anesthesia and it continues down through the stomach to the point where the stomach and small intestines meet.

Due to the recent death of two people in a Los Angeles hospital being linked to contracting this deadly bacterium through reusable devices, the FDA is asking manufacturers to prove their products can be sterilized, including the small crevices where bacteria can live. Since the FDA is only requiring new market products to be held to higher standards though, it may take a while before they are practiced with current products in the market. This can lead to more deaths or injuries to patients.

Even with hospitals following the recommended cleaning procedures, or taking additional cleaning steps, an investigation by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that the duodenoscopes were still contaminated with deadly bacteria after the cleaning and sterilization process. Why should you have to worry about the cleanliness of the medical equipment being used during your procedure? You should not have to wonder if you will contract an infection that may be deadly because a medical device was not thoroughly sterilized. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you understand your rights if you or a family member has been affected by improperly cleaned medical equipment.

If you or a family member has contracted an infection or passed away due to unsterilized reusable medical equipment, you need to speak with a Chicago medical malpractice attorney today. The lawyers at Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. can assist you with your medical malpractice questions and help you take the right legal steps. Call us at 312-553-4900 for a free initial consultation.

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