“Superbug” Virus After An Olympus Scope Procedure?

It sounds like something out of a horror film: Beginning in the year 2012, a deadly superbug outbreak infects and, in some cases, kills numerous patients in Pittsburgh, Seattle, Los Angeles, and the Netherlands. What do all of these cases have in common? Each person underwent a procedure involving the use of a state-of-the art medical scope known as the Olympus “TJF-Q180V duodenoscope,” and each patient tested positive for a “superbug” that is so resistant to antibiotics that health officials call it the “nightmare bacteria.”


Warnings from the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) released in February 2015 alert patients and medical care providers that contaminated endoscopes may have exposed patients to antibiotic-resistant “superbugs.” This includes endoscopes manufactured by Olympus American, Inc. These scopes are designed in such a way as to make thorough cleaning difficult, putting patients at risk. If you have questions about an Olympus scope lawsuit, we encourage you to speak with a medical device lawyer from The Mulligan Law Firm as soon as possible.

Why Is the Olympus Duodenoscope Dangerous?

Due to the scopes microscopic crevices, properly cleaning and disinfecting a scope is nearly impossible. Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) bacteria; also known as a “superbug” can become trapped in the tiny crevices near the tip of the devices, accumulate there, and go on to infect patients. Some of the superbug side effects can include:

  • Watery Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Blood or Pus in the Stool
  • Increased White Blood Cell Count
  • Kidney Failure
  • Death

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Duodenoscope “Superbug” Lawsuits

A specific type of endoscope—the side-viewing duodenoscope—is utilized in approximately half a million endoscopic procedures annually. This device is designed in a way that is difficult to clean. Bacteria can be secreted in nearly inaccessible crevices, exposing patients to dangerous contact with superbug bacteria. Warnings from the FDA instructed hospitals and physicians to disinfect and clean these devices with extreme care and attention.


Some patients were exposed to the superbug bacteria “carbapenem-resistant Entereobacteriaceae (CRE)” during endoscopic procedures conducted using contaminated duodenoscope devices. Several manufacturers produce these scopes, including Olympus America Inc.


Lawsuits against the company claim that Olympus:


  • Ignored the risks associated with these devices
  • Did not sufficiently inform hospitals in regards to proper cleaning and disinfecting procedures
  • Additionally, one FDA official stated that Olympus did not receive clearance from the FDA for one specific device—the TJF-Q180V duodenoscope—before releasing it to the public.

Our Attorneys Have Recovered $800 Million for Our Drug and Device Clients

Thousands of patients were exposed to the superbug outbreak because of contaminated duodenoscopes, with severe and even fatal outcomes. Discuss an injury or wrongful death lawsuit with the attorneys at The Mulligan Law Firm concerning an Olympus scope. We can help you, and we have the resources and experience necessary to build a case and win the recovery you deserve. Contact our office at 1-866-529-0001 today to receive your free consultation or complete our online form.

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If you or a loved one were a victim of a defective medical device or a dangerous drug side effect, start your consultation now by contacting the Mulligan Law Firm. Time is limited, so contact us today. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.