Hospital Error Leads to Superbug Outbreak Among Almost 200 Former Patients
The patients were most likely infected with CRE, or Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae, during endoscopic procedures at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center between October 2014 and January 2015. CRE is resistant to most antibiotics.
UCLA said they tested patients to determine the link between them and the superbug outbreak, and that the superbug was a “contributing factor” in the two patient deaths.
Although only two of the scopes were found to be infected with CRE, that was enough to spread to 179 patients and make them ill. CRE is a hospital-acquired infection normally transmitted through hospital error in cleaning intravenous lines, catheters, laparoscopes, and other medical devices.
“The two scopes involved with the infection were immediately removed and UCLA is now utilizing a decontamination process that goes above and beyond the manufacturer and national standards,” officials said in a statement.
The FDA cautioned that the design of the scopes might make them more difficult to disinfect.
“The FDA has been actively working with federal partners, manufacturers, and other stakeholders to better understand the issues that contribute to the infections and what can be done to mitigate them,” spokeswoman Leslie Quander Wooldridge said.
As superbugs become more common, many hospitals have raised the question of whether such outbreaks are truly hospital error, or a problem with current standards of cleanliness that the federal government outlines. Because superbugs are resistant to many antibacterial agents, they become more difficult to remove from medical devices. Some hospitals, in order to prevent hospital-acquired infections and patient harm during superbug outbreaks, have requested that the FDA and other safety agencies re-examine their current cleaning standards.
Common Patient Harm and Hospital Errors
- “Wrong site” operations where a procedure was performed on a perfectly normal limb or organ leaving the problem area neglected;
- Operating on the wrong patient;
- Performing an unnecessary procedure;
- Miscalculations taking place during plastic/cosmetic surgery;
- Postoperative infections that are preventable;
- Surgical instruments being left in the body;
- Incisions opening up after being stitched close during surgery; and
- Excessive and continuous bleeding following surgery
Any time a patient goes into surgery, risks are associated. Most of the time a surgery is performed successfully without any complications. However, sometimes things do go wrong. Surgical errors can stem from the preoperative surgery stage all the way through the postoperative stage. A physician may overlook something in the patient’s health history causing surgical errors later on or, after surgery, a patient may not have achieved the anticipate results from the surgery, either way errors took place and you or your loved one deserve compensation for those errors.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help Those Suffering from Hospital Errors
Each year, nearly 100,000 people die as a result of surgical errors, defective medical device and many more suffer devastating personal consequences. Surgical errors, hospital acquired infections, and medical malpractice can ruin you and your loved ones’ lives, demanding time away from work and thousands of dollars in medical bills. If you or a loved one has suffered pain, patient death, and continuing health problems after surgery, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We offer free consultations, so contact us today about your medical malpractice concerns. 803.252.4800.