Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hospital Settles After Failing to Sterilize Surgical Instruments

Hospital found negligent for failing to sterilize surgical instruments.Diagnostic procedures required.

The matter of Backman v. United States was a medical malpractice action brought against the United States of America. The plaintiff alleged that the nurses employed by the defendant's Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, FLorida were negligent in failing to sterilize the surgical instruments before they were used during the plaintiff's hernia surgery.

The plaintiff was a 37-year-old female at the time she underwent hernia surgery at the defendant's Naval Hospital. She contended that her surgeon called her after completion of the hernia surgery and informed her that he had learned that the instruments used in her surgery had not been properly sterilized.

The plaintiff contended that the lack of sterilization created an increased risk of infection which necessitated the performance of additional diagnostic procedures including repeat needle sticks as a result of blood testing for HIV, Hepatitis and other diseases. The plaintiff underwent blood testing for infection at three months, six months and one year. All of the tests were negative.

The case was settled before a lawsuit was ever filed for $80,000.  That strikes me as a reasonable sum for what this poor woman went through.  I can only imagine the panic she must have felt each time she had to wait for the results of the blood tests.

Please see some of my other posts on the topic of dirty surgical instruments:

Dirty Instruments in Shoulder Surgery

Forbes Regional Found Negligent for Dirty Colonoscopies

Res Ipsa in Exposure to Dirty Surgical Instruments

 South Hills Endoscopy Center Sends Letter About Dirty Endoscopes


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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. That strikes me as a reasonable Autoclave sum for what this poor woman went through.