Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Deadly superbug CRE bacteria

Endoscope Superbug Infection Numbers Far Higher Than Previously Estimated

The LA Times reports a new congressional investigation has revealed that the number of potentially deadly “superbug” infections from improperly cleaned and contaminated medical scopes is significantly higher than previous federal estimates.

Authorities now indicate that up to 350 patients have been injured or exposed to infection from the dangerous endoscopes, and have raised the number of affected medical facilities from 25 to 41. Prz`evious estimates had centered on 250 patient infections. While federal law precludes the FDA from naming the affected medical facilities, a more detailed report is forthcoming.

The congressional inquiry was spearheaded by Rep. Ted Lieu, who told the Times, “I was surprised at how much larger the number of infections was and it made me even more upset about the harm these device manufacturers have caused. There are current gaps in the law we need to close to make sure these situations don’t happen again.” Lieu intends to introduce two new bills focused on improving patient safety in response to the outbreaks.

Federal prosecutors are investigating device manufacturers Olympus, Pentax, and Fujifilm even as private lawsuits against the companies continue to mount. The Times had earlier reported that Olympus kept selling the dangerous medical scopes even after a 2012 superbug outbreak in Europe.

The LA Times further noted that in the wake of a February 2015 FDA warning to hospitals, officials have urged medical facilities to make a full review of cleaning procedures for these medical scope devices to minimize the dangerous infection risks. Many facilities have increased their testing and review of the endoscopes in an effort to preclude further deadly superbug infections.

Contact an Endoscope Infection Personal Injury Attorney

Lieff Cabraser has successfully represented thousands of patients across America injured by defective and dangerous medical devices. We currently represent patients who developed “Superbug” CRE infections after undergoing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), as well as the families of patients who died as a result of such infections.

If you or a family member developed CRE following an endoscopic procedure, please contact an experienced injury lawyer at Lieff Cabraser to discuss your case. You can also call us toll-free at 1 800 541-7358 and ask to speak to injury attorney Lexi Hazam or Wendy Fleishman. There is no charge or obligation for our review, and your information will be held in the strictest confidence.