Suit filed in Duke hospital contamination

July 2, 2008 at 11:42 AM

RALEIGH, N.C., July 2 (UPI) -- A lawsuit filed in North Carolina alleges Duke University Health System was negligent when it mistakenly cleaned surgical instruments with hydraulic fluid.

The suit seeks unspecified damages for 18 patients who underwent surgery at two Duke hospitals in 2004.

The suit filed this week in Durham County Superior Court comes on the heels of a settlement of claims filed by 60 patients who alleged they suffered a myriad of conditions as a result of their operations.

The Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer said the problem started when an elevator repair crew drained hydraulic fluid into containers marked "detergent." The drums were then sent to Duke Raleigh and Durham Regional hospitals where they were used to sanitize instruments.

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