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The Dangers of Duodenoscopes

duodenoscopes, infections, lawsuitsA functional duodenum is paramount to proper digestion and intestinal health. The duodenum handles a large portion of food digestion and acid neutralization. A condition within that body part can cause symptoms such as stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, bloating and more. A specialist may have to use a duodeonoscope in an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography to confirm a diagnosis of a duodenal disorder. The patient must ensure that he or she uses a reliable facility with a reliable team of experts. The dangers that can come from a duodenoscope are almost equal to the dangers that can arise from an undiagnosed duodenal problem. Two facilities were involved in duodenoscope malpractice scandals recently.

The Danger of Duodenoscopes

Two facilities had recent medical scandals that included the use of a duodenoscope. The Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and the UCLA Medical Center are the two facilities that were involved in such incidents. At least two patients died at the UCLA Medical Center after receiving a procedure that involved a bacteria infested duodenoscope. Similar incidents occurred at medical centers such as the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and an Illinois facility called the Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. More recently than the previously stated incidents, the Virginia Mason Medical Center lost 11 patients to death after they contracted infections from duodenoscopes. The outbreaks of deadly duodenoscope infections caused great concern, as more than 280 people developed infections from dirty devices.

The Fine Line Between Chance and Neglect

Some incidents occur by chance, and others occur because of neglect. The deadly duodenoscope statistics are too numerous for chance, but they do indicate that neglect may have occurred in each case. Researchers found that the duodenoscopes in many of the cases carried the E. coli bacteria. E. coli usually grows on unsanitary objects. The FDA released several supportive documents to assist medical facilities in providing high-level sterilization for their equipment. However, the releases cannot assist the people who have already been affected by the infected duodenoscopes.

Whose Fault Is It When a Patient Dies?

The family of the victims can collect monetary compensation if a judge finds that neglect played a factor in the incident. He or he may rule that medical practice took place. Medical malpractice is an incident in which a medical caretaker’s negligence causes a patient to die or suffer from an exaggerated medical condition. The survivors can look at one of two parties for medical malpractice compensation: the individual doctor or the entire facility. The victim’s family could claim that the person died an unnecessary death because of a medical employee’s failure to use the appropriate sanitation methods.

Ensuring that equipment is clean and sanitary is one of the responsibilities of medical workers, according to the oath. Such personnel are supposed to act in a manner that protects the patients’ best interests. Failing to ensure that an instrument is sanitary is a huge violation of a patient’s rights. A judge may hold the medical institutions in the previously mentioned situations liable for the wrongful death of multiple patients.

Getting Assistance for Duodenoscope Incidents

The family members of the deceased individuals in the above incidents may be eligible for two types of compensation: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages can cover their medical bills, household bills, counseling and funeral expenses. Punitive damages can cover them for their pain and suffering. The surviving victim can contact a medical negligence attorney and schedule a consultation to find out more about compensation. Medical negligence attorneys can assist living victims of duodenoscope infections or the families of deceased victims. The first step is scheduling a consultation with an attorney. The attorney may offer the person contingency coverage so that no additional stress is involved in the case. Contingency representation released the victim from the burden of retainer fees until the attorney wins the case. In some cases, the attorney will not ask for a penny until the settlement check arrives. At that point, the attorney would take a portion of the check.


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