Tainted duodenoscopes, which have come under scrutiny in light of a series of superbug outbreaks, are also associated with an outbreak of drug-resistant Escherichia coli (E. coli) in a Washington state hospital. According to a study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, patients can still be infected even when following manufacturers’ cleaning instructions.
An investigation revealed that between November 2012 and August 2013,32 patients were infected with an antibiotic-resistant strain of E. coli at Seattle Virginia Mason Medical Center. The hospital had followed the manufacturer’s cleaning protocol, but these procedures were apparently insufficient.
Recent evidence suggests that manufacturers’ cleaning instructions alone are not enough to sterilize duodenoscopes, a specialized type of endoscope. Recently, the devices were implicated in recent outbreaks of Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) at two Los Angeles Hospitals: UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai hospital. A total of 11 patients were infected with CRE at the two hospitals and 246 more were potentially exposed.
More Contaminated Duodenoscopes also Linked to Drug-Resistant E. Coli Outbreak