The family of a woman who died as a result of a contaminated IV bag has filed a wrongful death suit against the bags’ manufacturer. Nineteen patients have been affected and made ill by the contaminated bags, which were found to contain serratia marcescens bacteremia. Nine ultimately died as a result of the infection with this bacteria.
Six Alabama hospitals have been identified as part of the serratia contamination outbreak: Princeton Baptist Medical Center, Shelby Baptist Medical Center, Cooper Green Mercy Hospital, Medical West, Prattville Baptist Hospital and Trinity Medical Center’s Select Specialty Hospital have all reported patient infections linked to the contaminated IV bags.
Barbara Young filed the suit on behalf of Mary Ellen Kise, who died at Baptist Health Systems. Investigation has confirmed she was treated with one of the tainted bags. Infection from the serratia bacteria can cause infection of the urinary tract, respiratory tract, optical and also wound infections.
The families of two other deceased patients are also considering pursuing legal action against the makers of the IV bags, Meds IV.
The Alabama CDC determined that the infection came from bags provided through Meds IV, and recommended hospitals stop providing the bags. Shortly thereafter, Meds IV took steps to inform patients of the infection and issued a recall for the contaminated products. As yet, it is unclear if it is the fluid in the bags or the IV bags themselves that were contaminated.
An Alabama judge issued an interesting order recently, telling Meds IV not to destroy any evidence, presumably meaning remaining stocks of the IV bags. This came at the behest of Baptist Health Systems, who asked the judge to issue the order “…so that evidence will be safeguarded and available for all parties as we move through this regulatory process.”
No court dates have yet been set to determine the particulars of any of these cases.