PITTSBURGH—A jury in Pennsylvania recently ruled that Pittsburgh's Forbes Regional Hospital failed to properly clean and sterilize colonoscopes used on more than 225 patients in 2004 and 2005. The jury ruled the hospital negligent. This case was part of a class-action lawsuit which names Forbes' parent corporation West Penn Allegheny Health System as a defendant, according to a story by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The paper reported that the hospital system's CEO urged affected patients to be tested for bloodborne communicable diseases, at the hospital's expense. None of the patients contracted a disease as a result of their exposure, the Post-Gazette paper continued.
This jury’s verdict is notable because it's the first of its kind, according to Lawrence Muscarella, PhD, director of research and development at Custom Ultrasonics, Inc.
"This verdict would suggest ... that a medical facility can be held libel (e.g., for pain and suffering), even if the reprocessing breach had not been necessarily shown to result in infection," Muscarella wrote in his infection-control newsletter, Q-Net.
To read more from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, click here.