The American Journal of Infection Control released results from a study that shows, despite professionals using thorough cleaning practices, many medical scopes may be contaminated. Leftover bacteria, fluids, and other tissue remained present in the scopes, which are cleaned and reused in multiple patients. Many of the scopes, including colonoscopes, duodenoscopes, and gastroscopes contained defects like scratches and dents that continue to harbor substances even when cleaned according to current health standards. In acknowledgement of the study, the FDA urged medical facilities to discontinue using and dispose of any scopes with known damage. Some medical scopes like the colonoscope were free from bacteria almost all the time, but duodenoscopes with slight damage could not be thoroughly cleaned and are connected to at least 35 fatalities.
Although researchers did not detect the presence of the bacteria that causes “superbugs” during the course of the study, using the medical scopes still poses concerns for patients. By reusing the scopes many times, even with thorough cleaning practices in place, medical professionals put their patients at risk for contracting infections and other medical issues, which could contribute to dangerous illnesses and possible fatalities.
If you or someone you love developed medical conditions or illnesses due to medical malpractice, contact our New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP at 732-777-0100. Contact us online or visit our offices in Edison, Red Bank, or Toms River, New Jersey, to see how we can assist you. We represent clients throughout New Jersey.