Tom Frieden, the head of the Centers for Disease Control, refers to CRE as “nightmare bacteria,” and he has good reason for this grim nickname – CRE kills nearly half of all people who become infected with it.
The attorneys at Abbott Law Group are currently investigating claims on behalf of those who have been infected with CRE and other superbugs following an endoscopic procedure. If you or someone you know developed the CRE superbug following an endoscopic procedure, contact Abbott Law Group at 877.292.1500 to discuss your legal options.
Carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are bacteria that are resistant to a class of antibiotics known as carbapenem, and many experts believe it to be the new superbug. Despite the deadliness of CRE, very little research has been done on the new superbug. What is known is that hospitals and nursing homes are the primary sights where the transmission and spread of CRE occurs. CRE is transmitted through the use of medical equipment like catheters, ventilators, and especially through endoscopes. The medical equipment is used from patient to patient without being thoroughly sanitized and disinfected.
While wide outbreaks of the CRE superbug have been reported in multiple counties throughout the state of Florida, hospitals and nursing homes are not required to record or report any incidences of CRE infections. According to Florida statute 381.0031, information about disease outbreaks can only be released by the Department of Health when they deem that information to be necessary to the public health. However, as the spotlight on the CRE superbug continues to shine, more pressure is being put on hospitals and nursing homes to do more to protect their patients. In addition, more pressure is being put on manufacturers of hard-to-clean endoscopes like Olympus, who is currently being sued by patients who were infected with the CRE superbug as a result of its contaminated endoscopes. While other medical equipment can spread the CRE superbug, endoscopes and, in particular, ERCP duodenoscopes are especially prone to spreading CRE because they collect germs as they are moved through the esophagus, stomach, gall bladder, pancreas, and other parts of the body, and are very difficult to clean.
March 4, 2015 – Widow sues Virginia Mason; hospital begins notifying ‘superbug’ victims
“Theresa Bigler, of Woodway, is suing Virginia Mason Medical Center and a medical-device manufacturer after the death of her husband following a “superbug” infection. Hospital officials have reversed course to reach out to affected patients and families.”
March 4, 2015 – Superbug outbreak extends to Cedars-Sinai hospital, linked to scope
“Four people have been infected with a superbug linked to a contaminated medical scope, Cedars-Sinai has discovered, and 67 others may have been exposed.”