The lethal micro-organisms known to have caused the ugly ‘Superbug’ outbreak at UCLA Medical Center in February, have now been linked to four more patients at yet another hospital. According to hospital officials yesterday, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center – also in Los Angeles – has identified still more people who have been infected.
Cedars-Sinai administration reports its staff is contacting at least 70 other patients – specifically, those who underwent endoscopic procedures over the last 6 months. They believe these patients may have also been infected with the deadly bacteria carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae – referred to as CRE.
The specific piece of medical equipment now known to have caused the outbreak – called a duodenoscope – has been identified and is no longer being used. In addition, better sterilization protocols have since been implemented on all scopes used in the hospitals, according to a press release.
At UCLA – the site of the first outbreak – seven patients were infected by the unclean duodenoscope, and two were killed. UCLA immediately contacted 170 other patients they suspected were at risk.
According to the FDA, the agency that approves medical equipment, these scopes are particularly difficult to clean. But disallowing their use, they state, would put even more patients at risk, because they allow for “life-saving procedures.”
Here’s another view:
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