Endoscopes are used to examine the workings of the digestive system and other organs to make sure these systems are healthy or to check on the progression of certain diseases. While uncomfortable, an endoscopy is far less invasive than surgery, especially when physicians only need to observe conditions inside the body. When endoscopes and similar equipment are not properly cleaned, however, serious consequences can result.
A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine tracked cases in which patients developed various infections after undergoing an endoscopy or similar procedure. The study looked at cases in which the disease could be tracked to improperly sterilized equipment. The most common type of infection transmitted was salmonella poisoning, followed by tuberculosis caused by improperly-sterilized bronchoscopy equipment used to examine the inner workings of the lungs. One case of hepatitis B, a liver disease, was also documented in the 400 cases the researchers examined.
The researchers noted that endoscopy equipment can be difficult to clean properly, making it more likely than other types of equipment to transmit infectious bacteria. They recommended a multi-step sterilization process designed to double- and triple-check equipment so as many bacteria as possible are neutralized before each procedure.
Proper cleaning and sterilization of medical equipment and facilities is key in providing patient care that minimizes the risk for secondary infections, some of which can cause serious complications. At The Law Offices of Wayne Grant, P.C., our experienced Georgia medical malpractice attorneys are dedicated to representing those who have been injured by medical negligence. To learn more, call us today at (404) 995-3955 for a free telephone consultation.