People trust hospitals to help them regain their health, and doctors take oaths to do no harm. In too many cases, though, patients actually become sicker due to mistake or oversights by medical professionals. Since October 2014, there have been seven confirmed cases and two deaths linked to a deadly drug-resistant bacteria at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles. As many as 180 people may have been exposed through the use of contaminated medical equipment.
The super bug at the center of this Los Angeles outbreak was spread through the use of special endoscopes. UCLA Medical Center spokesmen claim they were cleaned according to manufacturer protocol, but those procedures may not have been thorough enough, to eliminate all bacteria.
This isn’t the first time a super bug has been spread through a contaminated reusable medical instrument. In fact, as many as 150 patients have been affected in a half dozen similar outbreaks in hospitals across the country in only the last three years. Between 2012 and 2014, 32 patients were affected and eleven died from resistant infections at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. That outbreak was traced back to the same endoscopes as the UCLA outbreak.
The Los Angeles infections are far from an isolated incident. Consumer activist groups and patients alike are questioning why hospitals and medical device manufacturers aren’t doing more to protect patients. While it has yet to be shown if this current super bug outbreak is due to hospital negligence or the fault of the manufacturer’s cleaning protocol, there are some signs that the hospital may not have recognized the danger as soon as they could have and made moves to protect patients from being exposed.
If you were notified that you may have been exposed to the bacteria, are experiencing CRE super bug symptoms, or have been diagnosed with a hospital-acquired drug resistant infection, you may be curious if hiring and attorney and suing hospital for negligence is possible. A hospital negligence lawyer can help you discover the answer. In some cases, filing a lawsuit against a hospital or suing a hospital for wrongful death is the only way to recover financially and emotionally after being the victim of hospital malpractice.