Parents sue New Orleans hospital for allegedly using unsterilized surgical equipment

NEW ORLEANS - Parents are suing on behalf of their child, whose alleged contact with an unsterilized piece of equipment during a surgical procedure at a New Orleans Hospital may have put his health at risk.

Alex and Tina Thompson on behalf of their minor child filed suit against Children’s Hospital and General Electric Healthcare in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Aug. 12.

The plaintiffs claim that the child underwent surgery in July of 2012 to remove hardware that had been previously implanted in his leg as part of repair work done on his fractured tibia. The physicians used a C-arm fluoroscope to view the alignment of the bones and surgical hardware under the skin. A representative from Children’s Hospital later informed the mother that the fluoroscope had not been properly sterilized prior to its use. Children’s Hospital contracted with GE Healthcare to sterilize the fluoroscope. The representative advised her that her son might have been exposed to infection and that he should be tested for various blood-borne diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.

The defendants are accused of negligently failing to follow the specifications and instruction for the chemicals used in the sterilization process and thereby compromising the safety of the plaintiff.

An undisclosed amount is sought for mental anguish, embarrassment, humiliation, emotional distress, reasonable fear and fright associated with contracting infectious diseases, need for medical monitoring, past medical expenses, future medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of earnings and or earning capacity and all other damages shown at trial.

The plaintiff is represented by Matthew P. Chenevert of Ron Austin & Associates LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division H Judge Michael G. Bagneris.

Case no. 2013-07582.

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