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Duodenoscopes Infected With CRE at UCLA Med Center

Endoscopes blamed for spread of potentially deadly bacteria

THURSDAY, Feb. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Endoscopes that were used to perform digestive procedures between October and January were contaminated with carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, California hospital officials said Thursday.

Representatives from the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles said about 100 patients may have been exposed to the contaminated devices. The devices are already believed to be responsible for seven serious infections, including two deaths. The Associated Press reported that 180 patients might be at risk. Free home-testing kits are being delivered to all potentially infected patients, and UCLA will analyze the results, according to a medical center news release.

The two endoscopes thought responsible for the infections were used in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic and bile duct problems. “We notified all patients who had this type of procedure, and we were using seven different scopes. Only two of them were found to be infected. In an abundance of caution, we notified everybody,” hospital spokeswoman Dale Tate told the AP.

The duodenoscopes had been cleaned according to standards set by the manufacturer, the hospital officials said. “UCLA currently performs a more stringent decontamination process that exceeds both the manufacturer’s standards and U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved manufacturer’s guidelines.”

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