Nurse claims UC Health failed to stop infectious outbreak

UC whistleblower lawsuit (VIDEO)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A nurse is suing UC Health, claiming it failed to stop the spread of a multi-drug resistant bacteria.

The civil suit claims as many as 100 patients may have been affected.

UC Health launched an investigation after noticing an increased number of infections after patients had a bronchoscopy, the suit alleges.

Below is Youtube video of doctors from other hospitals performing the procedure, which allows them to look at airways through a thin viewing instrument.

The civil suit alleges those who got the procedure while in the ICU got infected and UC Health tried to cover it up.

"If you had a bronchoscope in the ICU or at University Hospital then you have been unwittingly exposed to this infection," said Deters Law Firm spokesperson Eric Deters.

The investigation into the increased infections was lead by former UC Health Nurse Kim Jeffery-Wolfert. She was given the Civilan of the Year Award by the US Army in 2011.

The suit reads she wanted to get an outside agency to investigate the Bronchoscopes being used but the hospital said no because they were afraid of an audit.

Eric Deters, a spokesperson for the law firm handling the case claims the hospital simply wanted the situation to go away without dealing with the infected patients.

"They stop checking the bronchoscopes," Deters said. "They were culturing these scopes to check and see if they were causing an infection or if they were infected. Well, by no longer checking the scopes they weren't going to find any problems so there would be no need for an outside audit."'

FOX19 NOW reached out to the hospital for comment and a spokesperson released the following statement:

"We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of quality and safety for our patients however we do not comment on pending litigation."

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