Germs, such as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), are commonly found on inadequately sterilized medical scopes. This causes infection and even death for many Americans each year.
Certain scopes, such as duodenoscopes, are flexible tubes that are threaded through the mouth, throat and stomach. They have a hollow channel through which a doctor can insert instruments. The scopes contain microscopic crevices where body fluids and debris may remain even after the instruments are clean and disinfected as per the guidelines by the manufacturer.
According to FDA, from January 2013 to December 2014, 135 patients have been infected by medical scopes in the U.S. The NYtimes recently reported on the many people who were exposed to CRE from medical scopes. CRE kills about 610 people a year in the U.S.
In 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs admitted that more than 10,000 veterans were given endoscopies or colonoscopies with endoscopes that may have been improperly cleaned between patient procedures. Some of them later tested positive for HIV, hepatitis C or hepatitis B.
If you have been injured by an inadequately sterilized medical scope, contact Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP for a free consultation at (212) 983-3000.