According to a new report recently discovered in a FDA safety database which tracks injuries from medical devices, 3 patients died last year at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, CA from a superbug infection caused by tainted medical scopes. ¬†Huntington Hospital officials confirmed in August of last year that three patients were sickened by the scopes and later alerted the manufacturer of the patient deaths, according to the manufacturer’s report to the FDA. ¬†You can read more about the recent patient deaths at Huntington Hospital here: ¬†http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-olympus-scope-pasadena-20160504-snap-story.html.
The manufacturer, Olympus Corporation, recalled a similar medical scope in January due to design flaws that prevented hospitals and other healthcare providers from cleaning the re-usable medical device between use in different patients. ¬†That model has been linked to numerous superbug outbreaks at U.S. hospitals, including UCLA Ronald Reagan and Cedars-Sinai, which have resulted in several patient deaths over the last two years.The scopes, which are long snake-like tubes, are used to diagnose diseases in a patient’s bile and pancreatic¬†ducts by inserting their long snake-like tubes in the patient’s throat and upper gastrointestinal tract.
The Law Offices of Brian D. Witzer currently represents patients who were infected by the Olympus scopes at UCLA Ronald Reagan Hospital and is currently evaluating cases arising from superbug outbreaks caused by contaminated Olympus duoendoscopes at U.S. hospitals, including the recent outbreak at Huntington¬†Hospital. If you or a loved one was infected with a superbug from a contaminated scope, contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Brian D. Witzer today for a free consultation to determine your legal rights.
In response to allegations in several lawsuits and criticism by physicians and health care experts that the design of its duodenoscopes caused a rash of deadly superbug outbreaks in hospitals in the U.S. and Europe, medical device maker Olympus Corporation is now blaming human error, rather than the design of the scopes, for the deadly infections that resulted over the last few years and most recently at UCLA Hospital.
The company’s head of regulatory and clinical affairs recently told the L.A. Times that there are “multiple factors that influence a scope that is safe and patient ready for next use…[such as] reprocessing (industry jargon for cleaning a reusable medical device) the scope immediately, paying attention to the details, ensuring that the scope is adequately dried[.]” While it publicly denied responsibility for the wave of infections tied to its scopes, Olympus chose not to participate in the two day meeting of an FDA advisory panel last week that focused on the safety of Olympus’s scopes and other similar devices manufactured by other companies, much to the disappointment of physicians on the committee. On Monday, the FDA deemed Olympus’s scopes unsafe due to the high risk of infection, but kept the devices on the market as a last resort in certain lifesaving medical procedures.
Instead of participating in the FDA advisory panel meeting last week, Olympus hosted a series of events this week promoting the safety and effectiveness of its duendoscopes to physicians, including providing detailed demonstrations to nurses and other professionals on improved cleaning methods for the devices after use in an endoscopy. Critics of the company have complained that Olympus should have shared these new cleaning methods sooner. Olympus defended its decision not to share the new guidelines sooner by arguing that they were under review by the FDA. You can read more about Olympus’s position at: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-olympus-scopes-20150519-story.html.
The Law Offices of Brian D. Witzer is currently evaluating cases arising from superbug outbreaks caused by contaminated Olympus duoendoscopes at U.S. hospitals, including the recent outbreak at UCLA Hospital. If you or a loved one was infected with a superbug from a contaminated scope, contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Brian D. Witzer today for a free consultation to determine your legal rights.
A Seattle area hospital has recently filed a fraud claim against Olympus Corporation, the manufacturer of a popular model of endoscopes used to diagnose various gastrointestinal conditions, in King County Superior Court. Virginia Mason Medical Center alleges that Olympus knew its endoscopes were prone to spread a deadly bacteria, yet said nothing or otherwise take any action to warn doctors and patients until the L.A. Times reported on a series of scope-related infections at UCLA Hospital in February. You can read more about this developing story here: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-olympus-scope-seattle-20150512-story.html.
The news of Virginia Mason Hospital’s fraud lawsuit against Olympus follows the disclosure earlier today that Dutch regulators in the Netherlands had linked a 2012 superbug outbreak in that country to the company’s endoscopes. According to a new report by Dutch regulators, Olympus Corp. failed to demonstrate a safe cleaning procedure for the scopes in response to regulators’ request to prove that the device was safe. As a result of the outbreak in the Netherlands, Olympus sent an alert to all European hospitals warning them to use a special brush to clean the devices. The company did not send an alert to U.S. hospitals at that time, which was one year before the devices caused deadly superbug outbreaks at UCLA Hospital and other hospitals across the U.S. These revelations confirm allegations made in several lawsuits already filed against the manufacturer for injuries and deaths caused by the infected devices that the company concealed the dangers of their endoscopes from physicians and patients in the U.S. You can read more about the Dutch regulators’ report here: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-scope-outbreaks-europe-20150512-story.html.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a superbug infection as a result of an infected endoscope manufactured by Olympus or another manufacturer, contact the Law Offices of Brian D. Witzer, inc. today for a free legal consultation. Our firm has extensive experience prosecuting claims against medical device and pharmaceutical companies over the last thirty years.