Bring An Equalizer to the Fight. Choose a Firm That Was Created to Advocate for Victims.

Infection Control Violations Found at California Hospitals

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.

For 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 control."

If you or someone you care about has suffered serious harm due to a contaminated medical device or other serious medical mistakes, 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.