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Now snowballing: glaring spotlight on FDA in tainted scope matter

A number of troubling questions are quickly emerging in the immediate wake of increasing reports addressing patient injuries -- sometimes fatal -- resulting in facilities across the country from contaminated endoscopes used to treat digestive disorders.

Here's one: Are doctors using the scopes acting negligently by placing their patients at known risk for contracting a scope-related infection?

Some medical commentators might reasonably suggest that such is the case, given the proliferation of reports recently that harmful bacteria adhering to the scopes is causing infections in patients at hospitals in several states. We noted in our immediately preceding blog post (please see our entry dated February 23) that patients recently died at one California hospital, with others being infected.

One doctor notes that, "This problem has been known since at least 1987." Several years back, a medical group issued a warning that so-called duodenoscopes sometimes resisted post-use cleaning attempts, remaining contaminated even following sterilization procedures.

Now the FDA is under attack, given its clear oversight and advisory role. In fact, the agency beamed in just last week with an advisory stressing cleaning concerns for endoscopes.

Critics are jumping on that, calling it both insufficient and woefully late. A media article on the subject states that the agency has received "dozens of reports" concerning scope-related infections over many years.

Agency officials might soon face a grueling interrogation on the matter at one or more congressional hearings that have been proposed.

The legislator calling for a public forum says that, "For the life of me, I don't understand why the FDA didn't issue this advice until now."

We will keep our readers posted on this topic and nationally developing story. Consultation service from Maloney Law Firm is free. Contact us today to get started.

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