Lawyers are taking cases to file against Nurse Assist Inc., the manufacturer of IV flush syringes that were implicated in a bacterial outbreak in 2016. The outbreak involved more than 160 people in nearly 60 medical facilities.
If you've suffered from a blood stream infection, bacteremia or sepsis as a result of a Nurse Assist Normal Saline IV flush syringe, you may be eligible for compensation.
People who were treated at residential medical facilities that used certain IV flush syringes and who later suffered infection from the bacteria Burkholderia cepacia may have a lawsuit against the syringe manufacturer, Nurse Assist Inc.
Surviving relatives of people who died at facilities that used the now-recalled syringes may also have a legal claim.
Authorities traced a five-state outbreak of the bloodstream infection Burkholderia cepacia to prefilled IV flush syringes made by Nurse Assist.
The syringes infected 164 patients in 59 medical facilities. Seven people died.
Affected medical facilities include long-term care and rehabilitation facilities. Authorities did not disclose the names of the specific facilities involved.
Now, attorneys are evaluating cases to determine whether people injured by Nurse Assist IV flush syringes can sue for compensation. To date, no major verdicts or global settlements have been announced.
Attorneys are currently accepting cases on behalf of people who were patients in medical facilities that used Nurse Assist’s prefilled Normal Saline IV Flush Syringes and who developed bloodstream infection due to Burkholderia cepacia. Lawsuits may also be filed on behalf of people whose loved ones developed the bloodstream infections and died.
Burkholderia cepacia is a bacterium that is typically found in soil and water. Nurse Assist allegedly distributed contaminated syringes that, when used to flush devices, infected patients with Burkholderia cepacia.
The bacterium generally doesn’t cause serious problems for healthy people, but can be very dangerous to people with compromised immune systems. In extreme cases, it can be fatal.
In some instances, patients infected with Burkholderia cepacia can develop sepsis, which is a possibly fatal complication. Sepsis is when infections release chemicals into the bloodstream that can trigger inflammation. The inflammation can lead to changes in the body, possibly damaging organ systems to the point of failure.
Lawsuits would seek to hold Nurse Assist accountable for infections transmitted through the use of prefilled IV flush syringes that were supposed to be sterilized.
Potential claims could involve negligence in distributing contaminated syringes and allowing them to become contaminated in the first place.
Attorneys would likely argue that patients depend on the medical supplier to provide safe syringes to help make them better and not to harm them.
Lawsuits would focus on Normal Saline IV Flush Syringes that were recalled in 2016. The manufacturer, Nurse Assist, recalled a total of 386,175 syringes on October 4, 2016.
The syringes are identified by the product codes 1202, 1205, 1210 and 1210-BP. Lot code information was provided on the packaging case panel, according to Nurse Assist.
IV flush syringes are an important tool for safe IV medication delivery and are as common as stethoscopes and thermometers in medical settings. Medical personnel use IV flush syringes to clear out devices that use catheters or needles to inject medicine into patients’ veins. These syringes are intended to clean out IV lines and prevent them from being blocked.
According to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, more than 90 percent of hospitalized people, for example, receive some kind of IV therapy.
The syringes implicated in the bacterial infection outbreak were manufactured by Nurse Assist for almost a year in 2015 and 2016. The company distributed them over about seven months in 2016.
Normal Saline IV Flush Syringe lawsuits would be filed against Nurse Assist Inc. of Haltom City, Texas. Nurse Assist allegedly manufactured and distributed contaminated syringes.
In addition to prefilled flush syringes, the company makes other medical devices, including irrigation syringes, pill crushers, irrigation kits and trays and trach tube holders.
There are no publicized settlements involving Nurse Assist IV flush syringes as of yet. Cases have not progressed to trial, so there have been no verdicts. Potential lawsuits involving the Nurse Assist IV flush syringes are in the early stages.
By filing a lawsuit, you are asking to be compensated for your expenses.
Nurse Assist is not the only syringe maker to face legal action.
The federal government brought a case against B. Braun Medical Inc. in 2016 that accused the company of selling contaminated prefilled saline syringes in 2007. Authorities said the adulterated IV flush syringes infected patients in California, Texas, New York and Nebraska with the bacteria Serratia marcescens.
B. Braun Medical agreed in May 2016 to pay $4.8 million in penalties and forfeiture and up to another $3 million in restitution to resolve its criminal liability for selling the contaminated syringes.
Currently, there are no class action lawsuits for patients who developed bloodstream infections after the use of Nurse Assist prefilled IV flush syringes.
Although class-action lawsuits receive a lot of attention, legislators and courts have placed restrictions that make them increasingly difficult to file.
More often, when large numbers of plaintiffs have similar claims against the same manufacturers of products that caused similar injuries, groups of individual cases are consolidated as mass torts in state courts and multidistrict litigation in federal court. This has not yet happened in the case of Nurse Assist IV flush syringes.
In those scenarios, a single judge will preside and make pretrial rulings affecting all the lawsuits. The rulings generally address such things as what types of evidence will be admissible in trial and whether particular experts will be allowed to render their opinions.
Typically, the parties will select a handful of cases to go to jury trial first to give plaintiffs and defendants a sense of how the litigation will proceed. These early trials are referred to as bellwethers. They allow for informed settlement negotiations.
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.
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