Defectively designed duodenoscopes may have exposed many as 179 patients to a “superbug” at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles, and U.S. health regulators have known about the problem since at least 2009.
Reuters reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recommended any new safety requirements, despite the fact that it knew as far back as 2009 that duodenoscopes can spread potentially deadly, multidrug-resistant superbugs. Last Thursday, the agency issued a “safety communication,” warning healthcare providers that the “complex design” of duodenoscopes could make them difficult to clean, but offered no further recommendations. For the first time, the FDA said that patients have still contracted deadly bacteria from the devices, even after hospitals strictly followed the manufacturer’s sterilization instructions. More Health Officials Learned of the Link Between Duodenoscopes and Superbugs in 2009