UC Health nurse sues health system for covering up scope-related outbreak

A University of Cincinnati Health nurse has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against the system, claiming UC Health failed to prevent the spread of multidrug-resistant bacteria and covered up its role in the outbreak, FOX 19 NOW reports.

According to the report, as many as 100 patients may have developed an infection as a result of the care they received at UC Health. The nurse's lawsuit claims UC Health launched an investigation after recording a spike in the number of infections in patients who had undergone a bronchoscopy. Allegedly, the nurse suggested reaching out to an outside agency to investigate the medical devices and infections, but was told "no" because the organization didn't want an audit.

Eric Deters, a spokesman for the law firm that took the nurse's case, told FOX 19 NOW the health system decided to simply deal with the patient infections rather than tackling the root of the problem — the bronchoscopes being used for the procedure.

"They stop checking the bronchoscopes," Mr. Deters told reporters. "They were culturing these scopes to check and see if they were causing an infection or if they were infected. Well, by no longer checking the scopes they weren't going to find any problems so there would be no need for an outside audit."

A UC Health spokesperson released a statement to FOX 19 NOW that reads, "We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of quality and safety for our patients; however, we do not comment on pending litigation."

To access the full civil suit, click here.



More articles on scope-related infections:
Avoiding a dirty scope crisis: 5 steps to improve quality assurance with enhanced visual inspection
Dirty scopes infect 16 Huntington Hospital patients, including 11 who died
UCLA, Cedars-Sinai act quickly to address scope-related 'immediate jeopardy' violations

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