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Charlotte Endoscope Infection Injury Lawyers

Every day, doctors use endoscopes to see inside their patients' bodies. Endoscopes are helpful for screening for diseases as well as treating a patient's existing conditions. These important medical devices are made of a light and video camera at the tip. The camera is attached to a thin, long plastic tube. There is a certain type of endoscope that has been scrutinized as potentially spreading dangerous bacteria.

Which Types of Endoscopes Could Cause Injuries?

Specifically, the endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) examines bile ducts and the pancreas. These endoscopes could have a defective design that prevents full disinfection and cleaning. These types of endoscopes can possibly spread carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).

Seeking Legal Help After Your Injury

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we are here to help those who have been injured by defective medical devices and medical malpractice. Our Charlotte personal injury attorneys have decades of experience advocating for clients. If you or your loved one have been injured from an endoscope infection, you might be entitled to compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and your pain and suffering. We are here to advocate for you and protect your legal rights. Contact our legal team today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Dangerous Endoscopes Might Spread Serious Infections

Hospital personnel have a duty to sterilize their endoscopes after every time they use them. Specifically, hospital personnel need to follow a detailed process with multiple steps to disinfect the endoscopes. Patients have filed several lawsuits claiming that unsanitized endoscopes have not been totally disinfected and have resulted in life-threatening infections in patients.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently investigated a cluster of patients with carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). As a result of this investigation, the CDC determined that duodenoscopes used in a lifesaving endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography was associated with the transmission of CRE.

In the report, the CDC noted that there is a potential link between patients who have undergone an endoscopic procedure with reprocessed duodenoscopes and a multidrug-resistant infection caused by the CRE bacteria. Symptoms of superbug infections include the following:

  • An extreme fever that will not go away. Infections cause elevated temperatures
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Sepsis, also known as a septic shock which occurs when the infection reaches the bloodstream
  • Resistance to conventional antibiotic treatment

If you are showing any of the symptoms of an infection, it is important that you seek medical treatment right away. Be sure to keep track of all of your medical records and keep them. Follow all of your doctor's directions to ensure you have the best chance should you decide to bring a lawsuit for compensation. 

Endoscopes are Necessary Life Saving Devices

While the procedure itself is potentially lifesaving and needed, the risk of infection is high. The use of an endoscope is potentially lifesaving. It allows doctors to find blockages that prevent the patient's liver from draining bile. The use of endoscopes can prevent the patient from needing a more invasive surgery. Unfortunately, the process and the nature of using a duodenoscope is extremely complicated and can cause significant injuries.

The FDA Also Recalled Endoscope Cleaning Systems

Approximately 2,800 Custom Ultrasonics AER devices were recalled by the FDA in November 2015. These AER devices were used to clean endoscopes between surgical uses. The FDA initiated the recall after the manufacturers did not meet the FDA's demands to make the AER devices safer.

Injuries Caused by Endoscopes

Patients who suffered infections due to endoscopes regularly needed significant care in long-term care facilities. Many needed to be hospitalized to receive treatment. The following serious problems can result due to unsanitary and unsterilized endoscopes:

  • Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can survive the sterilization process used by the surgery technicians. The technicians might not do everything necessary to clean the endoscopes and related devices, and the disease could spread
  • Endoscopes contain very small crevices and parts that can harbor harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. It is difficult to clean inside these tiny areas. Living organisms can find their way into these safe zones and can reproduce, ultimately finding a new host inside of the patient's body
  • Sadly, nearly half of all of the patients who contract a drug-resistant bacteria strain die from their infections. Because these strains resist even the strongest bacteria, doctors have very limited options for treatment, if any at all
Contact Our Experienced Endoscope Injury Lawyers

If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury due to an infection or injury caused by an endoscope, you might be entitled to compensation. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our lawyers are ready to advocate on your behalf. We have the experience and trial experience needed to successfully represent our clients. Contact our experienced Charlotte personal injury lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation.

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