One major fear patients have in hospitals is the outbreak of a super bug. The “super bug” is an antibiotic resistant bacterium that spreads to patients who are then made ill. Many patients acquire infections and illnesses in the hospital, but these are particularly dangerous.

In the past, there was an antibiotic-resistant outbreak at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The hospital claimed the medical instruments weren’t sterile, but the manufacturer claimed the hospital needed to follow strict manual sterilization methods. Lawsuits are expected in the case, because two people have died and five others have been infected. The bacteria, called carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae was spread during endoscopic procedures performed on the patients. It’s believed that over 170 patients were exposed in total.

How could this happen? The medical instrument is difficult to clean, making it a playground for bacteria. Olympus, the company that makes the instrument, has said it is working with hospitals to make sure they understand how to meticulously sterilize the tool. It has said it will release new instructions.

The device has many small parts that can be hard to sanitize, and even when the cleaning procedures are followed, germs may remain. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration received information about 135 patients who may have been infected with bacteria by the scopes.

Problems like this can put patients’ lives in danger. Some have been left dead, while others are fighting for their lives. For any patient or family going through this, legal action is possible to help cover the ongoing medical and financial needs of the situation.

Source: CT Post, “Correction: Hospital Superbug Outbreak story,” Aug. 26, 2016