FDA updates safety alert for infected GI scopes

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

March 11, 2015

U.S. health regulators issued an updated safety alert on March 4 warning healthcare providers about endoscopes linked to a recent outbreak of drug-resistant “superbug” bacteria in California hospitals, according to a Fox News report.

While the FDA stopped short of recommending that healthcare providers cancel procedures performed with a duodenoscope for patients who need them, the agency’s alert recommended that patients be informed of the risks—which include infections, the report said.

In addition, an FDA alert said the complex design of endoscopes, including tiny microscopic channels inside them—may make it difficult to properly clean them. The alert focused on duodenoscopes manufactured by companies including Olympus, Fujifilm, and Pentax Medical, the report said.

The alert from the FDA followed news that four patients at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles were infected with carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a drug-resistant bacteria after [something missing here]. On February 19, the UCLA Health System reported that up to 180 of its patients may have been exposed. Seven of those patients were confirmed to have been infected, and two of them died, the report said.