Modified on 2009/10/14 21:52 by admin
Doctors use a bronchoscope to inspect a patient's larynx and airways. A tubular, fiber-optic instrument, the bronchoscope is carefully passed through a patient's nostril or mouth. A small light and camera attached to the end of the device allows a physician to look through the bronchi, two primary divisions of the trachea leading into the left and right lung.

Pulmonologists conduct lung and bronchial biopsies using the bronchoscope, which also removes secretions, blood and foreign bodies from the lungs. Doctors frequently examine patients suffering from lung cancer, AIDS, pneumonia and cystic fibrosis with the flexible device. According to many doctors, the instrument's true value lies in its ability to place medications in infected areas of the lungs.

Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore recently informed 415 patients that bronchoscopes made by New York-based Olympus America may have given them a rare, but fatal, lung infection. Hopkins officials realized the potential problem after over 100 patients who had undergone a bronchoscopy at the hospital tested positive for the pseudomonas bacteria. Two patients died from complications associated with the bacillary infection. Symptoms of pseudomonas infection include fever, coughing, phlegm and shortness of breath.

A spokesperson for Olympus told health officials that the company issued a "prompt recall" of the devices in November after it was discovered that a loose valve could trap bacteria. However, the company says only forty percent of the devices were returned. Hopkins physicians claim they were not informed of the recall until early February because of an address error on the warning letter. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also receiving criticism from health officials for its failure to post information about the recall on its website.

See your doctor if you were injured by a bronchoscope. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

Attorneys associated with will evaluate your case free of charge. In addition, you will not pay any fees or costs unless your attorney recovers money for you. Please click on the free Ask An Attorney button to take advantage of this valuable service.

See Also

  1. Medical Devices & Implants
  2. Pseudomonas Infections: Overview
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