Risk of Infections from Bacterial Contamination of Pharmacy Robots -- Medical Malpractice Claims Likely

An increasing number of hospitals around the country are making use of robotic drug dispensers that can prepare intravenous medications to be administered to patients, in a sterile environment. You don’t have to be an Atlanta medical malpractice attorney to know that when there is a risk of contamination of the intravenous medication, a patient could be at a high risk of infections. Contamination is exactly what researchers found when they inspected one of these robotic drug dispensers at a hospital. 

The contamination was found by chance during a routine screening at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina. Hospital staff were conducting an inspection of the robotic drug dispensing machine, and found to their shock that there were cultures of Bacillus cereus bacteria in the dispenser. The researchers believe that is the very first time that there has been a known contamination of these robotic drug dispensers.

Fortunately, the researchers were able to conduct an inspection, based on quality assurance measures that were developed by the manufacturer of the robot. The contamination was found before it resulted in dangerous infections. Atlanta medical malpractice attorneysknow just how serious any infections caused by the Bacillus cereus organisms can be.

These dispensers are used to prepare intravenous medications that are administered to patients through IV lines. Any contamination in the dispenser can therefore contaminate the intravenous drug, and this medication, including the germs, can be delivered directly into the person's bloodstream. 

This increases the risk of the patient suffering severe bloodstream infections. These are extremely deadly infections that have high fatality rates. Persons who suffer from blood stream infections could develop pneumonia and sepsis, and the symptoms could begin to worsen quickly. 

The researchers began an analysis into why the robotic drug dispensers were contaminated, and found that the manufacturer’s cleaning and sanitization guidelines were inadequate. They found that the contamination of the dispenser was linked to the washing station, and tubing. This part of the robot is not considered a sterile section, and therefore, the manufacturer did not give any instructions about the inspection of the washing station and tubing. The manufacturer however, did recommend regular cleaning with alcohol to sterilize inaccessible parts. However, as this contamination shows, these practices may not be sufficient to adequately sterilize the dispenser.

Medical technology companies are introducing a number of devices that make healthcare processes more efficient, and save resources. However, many times, these products are introduced into the market without proper research, and testing. Patients are possibly at risk of medical injuries and infections when manufacturers don't include the instructions of sterilization, and maintenance of these devices.

The Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys at the Katz Law Firm represent persons injured due to the negligence of doctors, nurses, technicians and other health care professionals in the Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you have been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, speak with an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer at our firm. 

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