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Temple Law Firm, PLLC

615 Willard Place
Raleigh, NC 27603

919-832-5732

1-800-982-2126

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This site is dedicated to
the effort to learn critical
facts about the Duke Hospitals
surgical patients exposure
to hydraulic fluid.




The Background Link to Complaint vs. Duke, Cardinal and Others

In mid-September, 2004, a Durham elevator company disposed of used hydraulic fluid in empty detergent drums while performing maintenance at Duke Health Raleigh Hospital. Through a series of errors, the hydraulic fluid in those drums was used instead of detergent in the sterilizing process for instruments used on patients in surgery at Duke Health Raleigh and Durham Regional Hospital from early in November until late in December 2004.

During that time, hospital employees complained about a greasy feel to surgical tools, and some patients complained of post-surgical pain, but no serious inquiry was undertaken to uncover the causes until late December, 2004. As a result of these circumstances, according to Duke's records, approximately 3,500 patients were operated on with surgical instruments which had been washed with hydraulic fluid rather than surgical detergent, as would be proper. The breadth and depth of the impact on the health of the patients operated on is still being explored.

The Inquiry

A more complete understanding of the facts is critical to health care planning for the victims and to the improvement of medical safety practices at Duke Hospitals and medical facilities nationwide. You can help with this important task. The major areas in which open questions remain are listed below. Click on items on the list for more information on the type of information needed, and please let us know if you have any feedback on these important open inquiry items.

• Elevator and hydraulic fluid disposal procedures at Duke Hospitals
• Surgical sterilization procedures at Duke Hospitals
• Reports of abnormal appearance or feel of surgical instruments
• Duke Hospitals' response to learning of use of hydraulic fluid in sterilization
• Record-keeping policies concerning paper, computer, photo or film records of surgery
• Studies of health effects of hydraulic fluid exposure on Duke staff or employees
• Studies relating to analysis of the contents or contaminants in the hydraulic fluid

• Standards and practices, local, state or federal compliance reporting
• Duke management involvement affecting protocol or methodology of studies

The inquiry is paid for solely by the Temple Law Firm, PLLC, but is not an advertisement for legal services. This inquiry is not affiliated or associated with any other law firm or group other than Temple Law Firm, PLLC. This inquiry into the Duke Hospitals surgical patient exposure to hydraulic fluid is being conducted on an independent basis, and is not connected with, sponsored by, or controlled by, Duke Hospitals or any related organization. Your confidentiality will be protected to the fullest extent of the law.

 


The Duke Hospitals hydraulic fluid story timeline...(more)
Other News Stories

· DFS Findings
· Rutala Reports
· RTI Report
· PharmaLink Report
· Toxicity Resources
· Duke memos
· Duke patient letters
· Exposure Standards



 
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