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Patient Deaths at Virginia Mason Medical Center Linked to Medical Scopes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an alert about antibiotic-resistant “superbug” infections linked to widely used medical scopes called duodenoscopes, which are used in 500,000 procedures annually to treat diseased pancreatic and bile ducts without resorting to surgery. The FDA has been notified of at least 135 patients who were infected with CRE even after the scopes had been cleaned according to manufacturer guidelines. At Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle 32 patients were infected, resulting in perhaps 11 deaths, and two deaths in California may be linked to the superbug infection. According to the FDA, the complex design of the speciality scopes makes them difficult to clean. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/26/us/after-deadly-infections-fda-asks-device-makers-about-cleaning-methods.html

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) has called for a house probe of the superbug outbreak: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/23/refile-us-lawmaker-seek_n_6739068.html.

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