Access Now: AORN COVID-19 Clinical Support

Home >  News >  October, 2014

Woman Sues Illinois Hospital, Claims Dirty Endoscopes Infected Dozens

CDC investigation recently tied hospital to a superbug outbreak.

Published: October 27, 2014

A woman filed a lawsuit last week against a Chicago-area hospital claiming she and 43 other patients contracted a "superbug" bacterial infection after undergoing procedures involving improperly-cleaned endoscopes, according to a Chicago Sun-Times reports.

In the lawsuit, Donna Pirolli says she underwent a procedure that used an endoscope at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park in June 2013. She says that she was infected with a bacteria called NDM producing CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae), which "colonized" on the tainted endoscope.

According to the CDC, the bacteria is in a family of more than 70 bacteria including E. coli that normally live in the digestive system and is resistant to antibiotics. The superbug is usually contracted by patients in medical facilities, and commonly causes urinary tract infections, but can be fatal if it enters the bloodstream.

Earlier this year, the Sun-Times reported that a CDC investigation found 44 cases of the CRE bacteria in northeastern Illinois between January and September 2013, including 38 confirmed cases involving patients at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

The investigation found that the patients who were screened and tested positive for the bacteria had a history of undergoing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. The CDC's report also said that even after manual cleaning and high-level disinfection, the scopes at the hospital still were found to have E. coli and other bacteria. The report says there were "no lapses" in the hospital's protocol.

Shortly after the investigation into the outbreak, the hospital changed its sterilization procedures to include using gas sterilization for the endoscopes, it was reported. In her lawsuit Ms. Pirolli alleges that the hospital improperly cleaned the scopes, causing her infection.

A representative for Advocate Lutheran General Hospital did not immediately return requests for comment. Ms. Pirolli could not be reached for comment.

Kendal Gapinski


Also in the News...

ASCA Calls for Continued Access to Care During COVID-19
AORN Expo 2021 Moves to August
CMS Issues Updated Reopening Recommendations
4 Million Surgeries Canceled Due to COVID-19
When Can Vendor Reps Return to ORs?
Coronavirus Outbreak Reignites Feud Between Anesthesia Groups
Outpatient ORs Reopening for Business

New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

FDA Backs Converting Anesthesia Machines to Ventilators

The move addresses critical shortages of machines needed for COVID-19 patients.

Music Is as Good as Sedative in Calming Nerves Before Surgery

Study finds listening to the "most relaxing song on Earth" before getting a nerve block reduces anxiety as well as Versed.

Brainlab Recalls Spine & Trauma 3D Navigation 1.0 Software Due to Display Inaccuracies

The class 1 recall applies to 60 U.S. systems.