A warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration warns medical staff across the country of the dangers of contaminated medical scopes. At least seven patients have contracted Carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae or CRE, two patients have died, and an estimated 179 patients were exposed to the drug resistant superbug. Medical scopes are difficult to disinfect and even the most rigorous cleaning recommended by scope manufacturers may not kill off CRE bacteria.
About 500,000 people per year undergo procedures involving medical scopes. The diagnosed cases are CRE have been linked to duendoscopes/endoscopes. Duendoscopes/endoscopes are typically used in treating medical disorders involving the gallbladder, bile ducts, liver and pancreas.
An investigation by USA Today found four CRE cases transmitted by contaminated endoscope in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Seattle, and Philadelphia. Individuals with weakened immune systems including those suffering from other illnesses, patients with long hospital stays and the elderly are at the greatest risk for contracting CRE. The high mortality rate for those infected with CRE is due the resistance of the bacteria to antibiotics know as carbapenems. CRE is more difficult to treat than MRSA and clostridium difficile. CDC stats state that 40-50% percent of patients infected with CRE die.
If you or a loved one has contracted CRE please contact the Hendon Law Firm today to discuss your rights, tel.: 770-284-3737.