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Contaminated Duodenoscopes also Linked to Drug-Resistant E. Coli Outbreak

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Contaminated Duodenoscopes also Linked to E. Coli Outbreak

Contaminated Duodenoscopes also Linked to E. Coli Outbreak

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.

In February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that duodenoscopes may not be sterilized efficiently due to their complex design. The agency later released a set of guidelines advising hospital staff to take scopes out of service until they were confirmed to be free of pathogens. Last month, the FDA imposed stricter guidelines and mandated that manufacturers prove the scopes can be effectively cleaned before they are placed back onto the market.

Throughout the investigation, more than 3 in 10 infected patients died. Seven deaths occurred while the patients were in the hospital and within 30 days of the E. coli superbug being identified. Kristen Wendord, M.D., of King County, Seattle’s public health department said in a statement “In the wake of the recent outbreak of CRE due to contaminated endoscopes, we suspect endoscope-associated transmission of bacteria is more common than recognized and not adequately prevented by current reprocessing guidelines,”

The study notes that Olympus, the manufacturer of the scopes, conducted a review and found mechanical defects in seven of eight devices. The hospital has taken extra measures ever since, including manual cleaning and implementing a 48-hour quarantine period. According o the Los Angeles Times, 3 percent of the scopes were still contaminated after the processing and staff had to repeat the measures. disclaimer: This article: Contaminated Duodenoscopes also Linked to Drug-Resistant E. Coli Outbreak was posted on Monday, April 6th, 2015 at 1:42 am at and is filed under Medical Device Lawsuits, Product Liability Lawsuits.

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