More than 25 patients who underwent colonoscopies at a Massachusetts hospital in 2012 and 2013 are suing the hospital for medical negligence, alleging that contaminated colonoscopy scopes used during their procedures were not properly sanitized. One former patient has alleged that he/she acquired an infection as a result of a dirty scope.
It is alleged that one channel of the four-channel colonoscopy scopes used at the defendant hospital in 2012 and 2013 were not properly cleaned between procedures due to the failure to use an adapter on the cleaning equipment that would have ensured the the cleaning solution would have properly entered all four of the channels. The hospital did not learn about the need to use the adapter until a new employee, who had worked at another hospital, advised the hospital of such in 2013. The hospital claims that the manufacturer of the colonoscopy scope had failed to advise it of the need to use the adapter in order to properly clean the scopes.
The channel that may not have been properly cleaned was used to carry sanitary saline solution into the patients’ body during colonoscopies. As a result, 293 colonoscopy patients may have been exposed to viruses such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV because of unclean colonoscopy scopes.
The delay in addressing the situation involving the possible dirty scopes was blamed by the hospital on the lack of proper communication in the hospital. The Massachusetts Department of Health conducted a review in November 2015 that discovered the situation and the public was not advised until February 2016.
On April 6, 2016, a spokesperson for the defendant hospital issued the following statement: “”We’re not able to comment on pending litigation. Here is the current situation: We have completed testing for 243 of the 293 patients who were affected. We are still making every reasonable effort to reach and offer testing to the remaining 50 patients who have not been tested yet. To do this, we have mailed two certified letters to their homes and followed up a third time with phone calls. It remains our hope that all 293 patients will get tested, but the decision to do so is solely theirs to make. To date there is no evidence of any transmission of illness from the endoscopes. The safety and privacy of our patients remains our top priority as we move forward in this process.”
The dirty endoscope claims discussed above are neither new nor unique: to read our prior blog postings regarding such claims, search the word “colonoscopy” on our blog page.
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with a serious infection such as HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or other virus following a colonoscopy or other procedure during which an endoscope was used, you should promptly consult with a medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you.
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