• Update: Unsafe Duodenoscope Devices
  • June 13, 2016
  • Law Firm: Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos A Professional Corporation - Baltimore Office
  • Duodenoscopes are used in more than 500,000 gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures each year. These devices are used during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedures to diagnose and treat conditions within the bile duct and main pancreatic duct, such as gallstones and cancer. The duodenoscope can help to drain fluid from bilary and pancreatic ducts that are blocked by tumors, gallstones or other conditions affecting the gastrointestinal system.

    In January, Olympus Corporation issued a voluntary recall of one of its duodenoscope models after evidence suggested that the devices may have contributed to the transmission of antibiotic resistant infections and other infectious material, which caused the death of several UCLA Hospital patients. A recently discovered regulatory report shows that 3 patients at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena also died as a result of a similar Carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) outbreak, but that Huntington failed to report these deaths.

    According to the LA Times, “it is still not clear how many patients may have been infected during the outbreak at Huntington or if only three died. The hospital will not say how many patients may have been exposed to the dangerous bacteria”.

    Further, the recent report indicates that the duodenoscope device believed to be the cause of the fatal Huntington CRE outbreak was a different model than that recalled by Olympus. Because of this fact, it is reasonable to believe that many more patients may have been exposed to antibiotic resistant infection and other infectious material due to the device’s use.