The UCLA Duodenoscope Controversy Explained
News of superbug infections spreading after the use of duodenescopes at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) continues to develop as top researchers discover new information. Anyone who has contracted an infection after undergoing a procedure that is performed with a duodenoscope could be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. Click here to file a free case review and discover your best course of legal action.
What is a Duodenoscope?
A duodenoscope is a long, flexible tube with many small parts that is used during an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP. The tube is threaded through the mouth, down the throat and stomach into the top of the small intestine, or duodenum. When it reaches the duodenum, a small, arm-like device extends from the end of the tube and squirts a dye into the bile ducts and pancreas to allow doctors to see X-Rays in more detail. 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.
Duodenoscopes & UCLA
Between October 2014 and January 2015, seven patients at a UCLA hospital were found to be infected with CRE after duodenoscope procedures, including two who died from the superbug. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that two contaminated duodenoscopes were responsible for the outbreak after they were found to still contain the bacteria even after undergoing thorough cleaning as outlined by FDA requirements.
One patient who received an ERCP was already infected with the superbug, and even though the proper cleaning procedures were followed, the dangerous bacteria remained on the duodenoscope and was transmitted to subsequent patients who were undergoing the same procedure. The FDA told CNN in 2015 that heavy disinfection after meticulous cleaning of the devices still “may not entirely eliminate” the risk of the infection being transmitted to other patients who undergo ERCP with the same duodenoscope.
Can I Take Legal Action?
As more patients file claims after contracting CRE from an ERCP procedure, including at least one infected by a duodenoscope at UCLA, now is a great time to find out what your legal options are. If you or someone you know has had an ERCP and was later diagnosed with CRE, click here to file a free case review. An experienced product liability attorney will review the details of your case and help you determine your best course of legal action.