Bacterial Contamination from Pharmacy Robots

Bacterial Contamination from Pharmacy Robots

Charlotte NC Medical Malpractice Lawyer

There is a significant rise in hospitals around the country that have begun implementing the use of robotic drug dispensers to prepare intravenous medications to be administered to patients, in a sterile environment. When there is a risk of contamination of the intravenous medication, a patient could be at a high risk for infection. Contamination is exactly what researchers found when they inspected one of these robotic drug dispensers at a hospital.

The contamination was found during a routine screening at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina. The hospital staff was conducting an inspection of the robotic drug dispensing machine, and found cultures of Bacillus cereus bacteria in the dispenser. This is believed to be 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.

These dispensers are used to prepare intravenous medications that are administered to a patient through their IV line. 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. These are extremely deadly infections that have high fatality rates. Any person who is diagnosed with a blood stream infection is at risk for developing pneumonia and sepsis, and the symptoms could begin to worsen quickly.

Researchers have looked 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.

Contact the Medical Malpractice Law Firm of Bice Law

If you believe you have suffered injury or harm due to medical malpractice, take the first step to protect your legal rights contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law.   We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly.  Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a medical malpractice attorney.  Results are how we measure success – we’ve built a strong reputation both in and out of the courtroom, and we’ll put our experience and expertise to work on your behalf.

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