March 26, 2015 — In the wake of several deadly outbreaks of “superbug” infections, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published an interim protocol for hospitals that need to clean and disinfect duodenoscopes.
The CDC warned that incomplete cleaning could allow bacterial growth, which could form a biofilm that is very difficult to remove and could result in persistent contamination.
Some of the recommendations made by the CDC included:
- Inspection and cleaning: Make sure the elevator mechanism on the tip of the duodenoscope is thoroughly cleaned and visibly free of debris.
- Drying: Make sure the scope is completely dry before it is stored.
- Surveillance: Take cultures of the scope after it has been cleaned and dried, including at least the instrument channel and the distal end of the scope.
- And more: And more
The CDC asked hospitals to warn patients who are undergoing duodenoscope procedures about the risk of person-to-person disease transmission, including transmission of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs.”
However, the CDC did not require hospitals to tell patients after they were exposed to high-risk pathogens on contaminated medical equipment.
Duodenoscopes have a complex “elevator” mechanism that helps bend the scope into tight spaces. Unfortunately, the FDA has warned that this mechanism is very difficult to sterilize effectively between uses.
In recent years, dozens of people have been infected with carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) on contaminated duodenoscopes. The manufacturer of the scope, Olympus Corp., is now facing lawsuits for selling an unreasonably dangerous device and failing to provide adequate cleaning instructions.
Do I have a Scope Infection Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting duodenoscope induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with a “superbug” infection, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Medical Device Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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