Panish Shea & Boyle LLP is representing several clients in their claims against Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center related to contaminated equipment that was used in endoscopy procedures. In at least two cases, patients died after specialized equipment used while they were undergoing an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedure was found to be contaminated with a “super bug” known as CRE. CRE, which stands for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, are a family of germs that are difficult to treat because they have high levels of resistance to antibiotics. In addition to the two deaths, UCLA reports that five other patients are known to be infected and that close to 180 patients may have been exposed to the super bug. If CRE enters a person’s bloodstream, it kills approximately 40-50 percent of those infected.
ERCP is used primarily to diagnose and treat conditions of the bile ducts and main pancreatic duct, including gallstones, inflammatory strictures (scars), leaks (from trauma and surgery), and cancer. ERCP is performed with an endoscope, which the physician uses to see the inside of the stomach and duodenum, and inject contrast dye into the ducts into the biliary tree and pancreas so they can be seen on X-rays. The procedure can also be used to place stents and to perform other interventional procedures.
Anyone who underwent an ERCP procedure at UCLA Medical Center since June 2014 may be at risk for CRE infection. For more information, please call Peter Kaufman or Kevin Boyle at 310-477-1700 or contact the firm here.