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May 5, 2016: Three Patients Died in Huntington Hospital Duodenoscope Outbreak

Huntington Hospital Duodenoscope Outbreak

As revealed by the LA Times in a “newly discovered regulatory report,” another duodenoscope outbreak occurred in 2015 at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, resulting in the death of at least three patients. The hospital has yet to release the number of patients who had been exposed to the infected duodenoscope. After undergoing a procedure with a duodenoscope, the three deceased patients had been infected with sepsis.

According to the CDC, sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. It is difficult to predict, diagnose, and treat. Patients who develop sepsis have an increased risk of complications and death and face higher healthcare costs and longer treatment.

Call the Weinberg Law Firm For Duodenoscope Lawsuit Help

The Law Firm of Eric H. Weinberg is assisting individuals nationwide who may have suffered an infection following an duodenoscope procedure. Since 1984, Attorney Weinberg has represented personal injury victims, including those injured by defective medical devices, including metal-on-metal hip joints, transvaginal mesh, and apnea monitors. For a free legal case evaluation, please call our law firm toll free at 1-877-934-6274 or fill out the Free Legal Case Evaluation form found on this page.

Huntington Hospital Used Outdated Olympus TJF-160F Cleaning Procedures

The suspect medical device is the Olympus TJF-160F, an older edition of Olympus duodenoscopes. In 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had ordered Olympus to create new cleaning guidelines, as the device was nearly impossible to disinfect entirely. Since Huntington Hospital had been using the same device since 2002, the hospital had been using the outdated cleaning method at the time of the now-deceased patients’ procedures.

Rep. Ted Lieu Involvement and Response to Huntington Hospital Duodenoscope Outbreak

Rep. Ted Lieu, Democratic Representative for Los Angeles Country in California, released FDA data revealing that 350 patients at 41 medical facilities around the world had been infected or exposed to tainted duodenoscopes from January 2010 to the end of October 2015.

After the LA Times revelation, Lieu commented, “This [the three duodenoscope-related deaths] is why I recently introduced […] legislation [that] would mandate that cleaning instructions for medical devices be scientifically proven to work, and that design changes and safety warnings for devices are reported to the Federal Drug Administration.”

Duodenoscope Cleaning Problems and Huntington Hospital Duodenoscope Outbreak

Duodenoscopes may be used in procedures to drain fluids from blocked pancreatic and biliary ducts, inject contrast dyes, obtain tissue samples for biopsy, or to treat certain medical conditions. The flexible scope is passed through the mouth, throat, and stomach, into the top of the small intestine ( known as the duodenum).

At the tip of the scope is a movable “elevator” mechanism that allows gastroenterologists to change the angle of instruments passed through the scope during these procedures. According to the FDA, this movable feature can add to the challenge of cleaning and disinfecting these reusable devices. Manufacturers of ERCP duodenoscopes include Olympus Corp., Pentax Medical, and FujiFilm Holdings Corp.

Learn more about Duodenosope Outbreaks by visiting DUODENOSCOPE SUPERBUG OUTBREAK REPORT, Duodenoscope Superbug Outbreak, and duodenoscope.

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