Defective medical devices can seriously injure patients. It’s been recently documented that a type of medical device used regularly and repeatedly in hospitals may not receive adequate cleaning, and therefore may pose grave dangers as well.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is the federal agency responsible for the safety of medical devices used throughout the country. When a serious defect in a medical device becomes known, the FDA can issue a recall to minimize the harm.
According to the FDA, a defective medical device recall doesn’t always mean the device is no longer to be used. A recall can include mandates to inspect the device, repair the device, adjust the device, or simply warn patients of possible problems.
Now a new warning has come out about a dangerous medical device. And the warning comes first not from the U.S. government but a group of researchers.
Scratches and Dents in Medical Scopes
They performed a seven-month study of relatively new medical scopes – colonoscopes and gastrocsopes – used in a variety of medical procedures. The study, recently published in the American Journal of Infection Control, found that many of these devices had potentially serious defects. An overwhelming majority had issues such as scratches and dents that could cause harm to patients. These flaws could trap unwanted fluids and other materials that could lead to dangerous infections.
And these devices were used repeatedly on patients over the course of the seven months.
Even after Cleaning Some Scopes had Bacteria
Sixty percent of the scopes in the study were also found to have bacteria after cleaning; bacteria that could cause serious infection. The researchers concluded that the defects only compounded the problem. The ridges and chips made cleaning difficult.
The FDA now has issued alerts to U.S. hospitals to inspect their scopes closely for signs of damage and to stop using any that have defects. The lead author of the study also advised health care providers to use special precautions and perhaps devise new approaches in the cleaning of medical scopes.
Whether it’s caused by a defective medical device or care givers’ substandard upkeep of that device, patients shouldn’t suffer additional significant harm while under medical care.
If you lost a family member or you were seriously hurt due to what you feel was a medical error, consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney to have your concerns thoroughly investigated.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.
Authored by: Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C. posted in Defective Medical Devices on February 10, 2017