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Olympus defective medical devices may lead to infections, death

When a medical device is not made properly, the consequences can be devastating for patients in West Virginia and other states. One device that was recently slated to be recalled voluntarily is an Olympus medical endoscope. Officials said these defective medical devices have been tied to hundreds of infections.

The Food and Drug Administration said Olympus planned to contact all facilities that owned the device and provide instructions for how to return the items so that they can be modified. Redesigning the endoscope was slated to take about four days. In the meantime, medical facilities can use the endoscope but are encouraged to carefully following the reprocessing instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Seven patients were found to have particular infections tied to the use of the device at one hospital from October 2014 to January 2015. Two of these patients ended up dying as a result. The goal of the redesign process is to help to reduce the bacterial infection risk associated with the device.

When defective medical devices cause patients to suffer harm or even die, the manufacturers of these medical devices may be held financially responsible. A harmed patient may file a liability claim against the allegedly responsible manufacturer, while the loved ones of a deceased patient may choose to file a wrongful death claim, pursing the reimbursement of monetary damages. Awarded damages may be used to cover medical costs or funeral costs linked to the use of the dangerous product. Before claims for damages can be determined, liability has to be established to the civil court's satisfaction in West Virginia.

Source:, "Medical Device Maker To Recall Scope Linked to Superbug Outbreak", Jan. 19, 2016

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