Signs of a Duodenoscope-Linked Infection
With more people being diagnosed with a duodenoscope infection, many patients are worried that they are missing the signs. If you or someone you know has suffered serious complications after undergoing an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), file a free case review to see if you could be entitled to financial compensation.
What are Duodenoscopes?
Duodenoscopes are flexible tubes that are used in ERCPs. The tubes, which have many small parts, are threaded through the mouth, throat, and stomach into the top of the small intestine where it can treat and/or diagnose problems in the pancreas and bile ducts. When the scopes and their small parts are not cleaned and disinfected properly, tissue or fluid can remain on the scope while it is used in another patient, which can cause serious infections.
There are plenty of additional infections that can be caused by contaminated duodenescopes, including “superbugs,” or dangerous bacteria that is often resistant to many antibiotics.
One superbug is carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE. CREs are a family of germs that are highly resistant to antibiotics, making infections present with these bacteria extremely difficult, or in some cases, impossible to treat. The Center for Disease Control cites a study that found CRE can contribute to death in up to half of the patients who become infected.
Signs of Duodenescope Infection
A dangerous infection itself, CRE can cause other infections in the body, often depending on which organs are affected. Signs of CRE include, but are not limited to:
- Urinary Tract Infection – If these bacteria get into other parts of the body, like the urinary tract, a urinary tract infection (UTI) may result. Symptoms include pain in the lower abdomen, burning during urination or intercourse, and blood in your urine, among others.
- Cyanosis – A bluish discoloration of the skin, cyanosis can occur as a result of low oxygen in the blood.
- Sepsis – Sepsis occurs when chemicals released in the bloodstream to fight infection cause inflammation. This reaction can cause damage to several organs, and can even result in death. Symptoms include fever, trouble breathing and low blood pressure, among others.
- Fever and Chills – Although symptoms can vary from patient to patient, fever and chills are included in most cases, along with sores that are unresponsive to over-the-counter antibiotics.
Should I Take Legal Action?
A patient who sought treatment for a medical issue does not deserve a duodenoscope infection as a result. Anyone who has had a procedure performed with a duodenoscope and acquired an infection should file a free case review. An experienced product liability attorney will examine the details of your case and help you determine your best course of legal action.