UCLA reported on Wednesday that approximately 180 patients were exposed to a drug-resistant “superbug” called CRE by contact with contaminated medical instruments and that likely has already contributed to two fatalities.
What Caused the Outbreak?
Approximately 500,000 patients per year are treated for various diseases with a medical instrument known as an endoscope, which is inserted down the throat of the patient to reach various areas only accessible in this manner. Since the endoscope is used on patient after patient, it is critical that it be properly sterilized. It is believed that endoscopes used at UCLA and other medical institutions were poorly sterilized in between patients, which caused the spread of the infection from patient to patient. As far back as the fall of 2013, the Center for Disease Control warned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that CRE could be spread by the use of the endoscope if not properly sterilized after each use on a patient.
How Dangerous is the CRE superbug?
Articles suggest that if the bacteria enters a person’s bloodstream, then the superbug can kill up to 50% of the patients. Patients can limit the spread of this infection by taking their antibiotics and making sure everyone washes their hands before making any physical contact.
Your Superbug Rights
If you have been exposed to the CRE superbug at UCLA, you may have certain rights, including but not limited to the following:
• Medical Expenses
• Pain and Suffering
• Lost Wages
• Emotional Distress
You may be entitled to medical expenses if the cause of you being exposed to the CRE superbug was due to UCLA’s negligence. You also may be entitled to pain and suffering as well as lost wages if UCLA is found to be negligent. If UCLA’s conduct was reckless or intentional, then a patient could receive money for their emotional distress.
If you or someone you know has been exposed to this infectious disease, contact the Los Angeles medical malpractice attorneys at Kahn Roven at 213-738-0708 today.