Hospital Injuries

A hospital in California is under fire for breaking state laws after a deadly outbreak that the institution caused. They didn't report it right away and may even have tried to hide it by failing to list the deadly disease as the cause of death for all but one person. A total of 11 people were killed and 16 became sick. Reports indicate that the hospital in question is Huntington Hospital, which is located in Pasadena.

Dirty Scopes and Superbugs

The problem was one you may have heard of before: a superbug. This is a disease that has mutated so that it is resistant to the drugs and medications that would typically be used to treat it. This often happens at hospitals, where the disease is exposed to these medications so often that it has a chance to change. Outside of the hospital setting, these alterations are less common and treatment is easier. With a superbug, though, there is often very little that doctors -- or the human body -- can do.

The hospital apparently used duodenscopes that were not cleaned properly. As such, the scopes passed the disease from one patient to the next, until more than two dozen people had been infected.

Lack of Investigation

When patients began dying, it should have been a red flag to the hospital, but they didn't carry out all of the proper investigations. State law also indicates that outbreaks like this have to be reported quickly to help contain the disease. The hospital allegedly failed to so. Listing different causes of death may not have been an intentional move to cover it up, but it shows that the hospital did not follow procedure.

Investigators said that the hospital not only waited until past the 24 hour reporting deadline, but that it also broke protocol when the scopes weren't cleaned properly. Furthermore, one scope had actually been flagged back in 2012 for a design flaw, and it had been recalled. It was not even the oldest scope that the hospital was using.

Hospital Negligence

The decision that state laws were broken is a big one for families of those who died and for those who survived, all while accumulating substantial medical bills. If the coming court case upholds this decision, it could spur a rash of surgical scope lawsuits.