In the wake of the deadly “superbug” infections tied to tainted
medical scopes, state investigations took a closer look at the infection
control protocols at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai
Medical Center. The investigations revealed a number of other serious
patient safety concerns.
The recently released report revealed that state officials declared an
"immediate jeopardy" — meaning lives were at imminent
risk — on March 4, 2015 at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center. As
reported by the
Los Angeles Times, state inspectors found staff using contaminated water and a tainted liquid
cleaner dispenser being used to ready colonoscopes and other devices for
the next patients. In another case, a nurse was observed cleaning a scope
using a sterilization product without being aware that the liquid had
to remain on a surface for three minutes to work.
Although rarely used, the state declared another "immediate jeopardy"
three weeks later at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. At that facility, inspectors
found a "widespread pattern of potential ineffective sterilization
and storage of surgical instruments."
For instance, inspectors found that staff at Cedars failed to follow safety
standards when they placed trays of surgical instruments in a sterilization
machine. The instruments were tightly packed in the tray without opening
devices like forceps and clamps at their hinges so that sterilizing fluid
could get to all surfaces. The instruments were then delivered to operating
rooms without being fully disinfected.
According to the report, both hospitals worked quickly to remedy the violations,
and the “immediate jeopardy” rulings were lifted in a matter
of days. Subsequent inspections did not uncover any further violations.
Nonetheless, the report suggests that many of the infection control lapses
were not isolated events, but rather longstanding issues.
San Diego medical malpractice lawyers, the report clearly raises safety concerns and reinforces that infection
control oversights can take place at facilities of all sizes and stature.
"You would think these very sophisticated leading facilities would
have been on a hospital-wide alert," said Lisa McGiffert, who heads
the safe patient project at Consumers Union, told the
LA Times. "Hospital leadership is not putting enough resources into infection
If you or someone you care about has suffered serious harm due to a contaminated
medical device or other serious medical mistake, you may be entitled to
compensation. For more information, please contact
a San Diego medical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage
for a free consultation.