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.