CU Hospital surgical tool blamed for eColi infections, deaths

Surgical tool used at University of COlorado Hospital, blamed for infections and deaths of nine Colorado residents - The Sawaya Law Firm

Nine patients of the University of Colorado hospital developed infections after undergoing surgeries with a medical device suspected of causing fatal infections nationally. Three of these patients have died from their infections.

The instrument, a duodenoscope, is made to be inserted in patient’s throats, and performs difficult and sometimes life-saving surgeries. The surgery most associated with the recent infections is called an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography procedure (ERCP). ERCP is commonly used to reach the pancreas or bile ducts. However, the instrument has proven difficult to clean in hospitals across the board, and is increasingly associated with infections – some fatal.

“Providing the very best and safest care to our patients is our top priority at University of Colorado Hospital,” spokesman Dan Weaver said. “We thoroughly investigated this incident and determined that nine patients who underwent an ERCP using a particular endoscope developed infections; three of these patients later died.”

Once the suspect tool had been identified, CU Hospital immediately removed the instrument and sent it to the manufacturer, Olympus Medical Systems, for analysis. There, a visual examination of the scope found “the bending section adhesive was whitish in color and had open gaps at each side of the bending section cover, the glue around the nozzle had signs of cracks and gaps,” and “the insertion tube had multiple buckles throughout the entire length.”

An inspection by microscope noted “brownish stains” internally.

According to Olympus, the device had been used 791 times.

If you or a loved one recently underwent ERCP, or any surgery at University Hospital, and have legal questions about infections, medical malpractice, or negligence, call one of our experienced Colorado Dangerous Medical Device Lawyer today – 303.GOOD.LAW.


Michael established The Sawaya Law Firm in 1977 and built it into one of the largest personal injury law firms in Colorado, with more than 20 lawyers and 80 staff members serving clients from five offices located in Denver, Greeley and Colorado Springs. Throughout its history, the firm has stayed true to its 12 Core Values, which emphasize excellence in advocacy and a commitment to providing outstanding client service. Michael studied sociology and economics as an undergraduate student at The Colorado College, and he earned his law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law. In addition to being involved in several legal and community organizations, Michael enjoys playing music and cooking, and he has written a book on spiritual matters.