People undergoing a medical procedure known as ERCP may have been exposed to a deadly superbug called Carbapenum-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). This multidrug-resistant bacterium is highly transmissible in healthcare settings. There are currently few antibiotic options for treating CRE infections. Invasive CRE infections have been associated with mortality rates in excess of 40%.
This pathogen is being spread patient-to-patient by ERCP endoscopes, a flexible device that is passed down the patient’s throat and eventually into the small intestine to evaluate and treat a number of conditions including cancer, gall stones and other GI tract ailments.
The problem is that this reusable device is difficult to clean and sanitize. Its design allows pathogens from one patient to be spread to another.
Outbreaks have been identified at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center as well as medical centers in Seattle, Illinois and Pennsylvania. At this point, it is impossible to know how many patients have been exposed to CRE or have actually died as a result of it.
The fault for these infections is widespread and includes:
- Failure on the part of device manufacturers to design a product that can be properly cleaned and sterilized
- Failure on the part of device manufacturers to develop and test methods of properly cleaning and sanitizing ERCP duodenscopes
- Failure on the part of device manufacturers to warn doctors and patients about the dangers associated with ERCP duodenscopes
- Failure on the part of hospitals and staff in not properly cleaning and testing ERCP duodenscopes
- Failure on the part of hospitals and staff in not alerting patients about CRE exposure and the need for testing and treatment
- Failure on the part of the FDA to promptly identify the problem and warn medical professionals about precautions that need to be taken to limit the spread of CRE
Our national patient safety law firm and our Bad Bug Law Team, represent people harmed by pathogenic microorganisms in cases involving hospital and surgical site infections, foodborne illness, and Legionnaires ’ disease. For a FREE consultation about any ERCP-related CRE infection case, submit our free consultation form (click here now) or call us at 1-888-377-8900 about an endoscope infection lawsuit.