Defective Medical Products Comments Off
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning about a particular type of endoscope saying the devices that are used to look inside patients’ bodies, are so poorly designed that it is not possible to clean and disinfect them thoroughly.
According to an NBC news report, the endoscopes have been linked to an outbreak of drug-resistant bacteria that have killed at least two patients and infected five more at UCLA Medical Center.
The university has also sent out warnings to about 180 people saying that they may have been exposed to the potentially deadly bacteria.
How Do The Endoscopes Work?
The endoscopes the FDA has issued the warning about are not the scopes used in procedures such as colonoscopy. But they are used in diagnosing and treating a range of diseases and health conditions from gallstones to cancer. The scopes in question, generally called duodenoscopes, are used at least on a half-million people in the United States and have a number of tiny parts.
Duodenoscopes are flexible lighted tubes that are threaded through a patient’s mouth, throat, stomach and into the top of the small intestine, also known as the duodenum. They contain a hollow channel that allows the injection of a contrast dye or the insertion of other instruments to obtain tissue samples for biopsies or treat certain abnormalities.
The device’s design allows germs to be carried from one person to another. Experts say the process for cleaning and disinfecting the devices is complicated.
The Result of Defective Design?
There is no question that these endoscopes are sophisticated devices. They present a non-invasive alternative to many seriously ill patients.
But is it not the manufacturer’s responsibility to make a device that can be properly cleaned and disinfected in the real world? How could a manufacturer put a device in the market that could potentially cause germs to be transferred from one patient to another?
This is a real problem this manufacturer will need to address right away. We hope that the FDA does its due diligence when it comes to oversight on this matter.
If you or a loved one has been affected by these contaminated endoscopes, please contact an experienced product liability attorney in Los Angeles to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights. You may be eligible to receive compensation for your significant losses.