Los Angeles-area Huntington Memorial Hospital announced that some of its patients had contracted a drug-resistant superbug after undergoing procedures using a specialized endoscope known as a duodenoscope.
Hospital authorities say they contacted public health authorities after the bacteria pseudomonas was found in patients who had undergone procedures in which Olympus Corporation duodenoscopes were used. The hospital did not say how many patients were infected, however the Los Angeles Times reported that the bacteria was found in three of the hospital’s patients in June.
Duodenoscopes are specially designed endoscopes that are fed down a person’s throat to treat gallstones, tumors and other blockages of the bile and pancreatic ducts. More than 500,000 duodenoscope procedures are performed at hospitals each year.
The surgical tools have been linked to outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant infections in hospitals in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Massachusetts.
Earlier this year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that bacteria can be harbored ub small crevasses in the scopes even after they have been cleaned and disinfected, which can spread from patient to patient when the devices are reused. The agency recommended more stringent cleaning procedures, but also acknowledged that many hospitals may not be able to implement the process. Furthermore, the agency said, the recommended cleaning practices still may not be enough to kill the bug.
Regardless, the FDA said duodenoscopes provide a vital service to some patients and that it would not be pulling the devices from the market.
Earlier this week, the FDA cited duodenoscope manufacturers Olympus, Pentax and FujiFilm for manufacturing and quality control violations. Olympus and Pentax were also cited for not properly notifying the FDA after learning their scopes were linked to infections.
Source: Breitbart California