UCLA Superbug Now Evident at Cedars-Sinai; FDA Issues New Warnings

UCLA Superbug

March 6, 2015 – We have recently been reporting on the superbug outbreak affecting patients at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The startling story has made international headlines, and is fueling widespread debate within the medical community. Now the Food and Drug Administration is speaking out, and trying to raise awareness among medical professionals about the immense complexity of ERCP endoscopes (duodenoscopes).

The deadly bacterial outbreak is believed to have emerged as a result of improperly reprocessed endoscopes at the medical facility. The FDA notes that reprocessing is a detailed, multistep process, and can possess the potential for infection even when manufacturers’ cleaning instructions are closely followed. The FDA recommends cleaning these devices using high-level disinfection, but further notes that some risk may still be present. According to the latest reports, UCLA isn’t the only medical center facing an outbreak related to the controversial Olympus endoscope.

Outbreak at Cedars-Sinai

The Los Angeles Times has reported that doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have already found 4 patients infected with the same bacteria found at UCLA, and as many as 67 others may have been exposed. One of the infected patients has already died, but a spokesperson for Cedars-Sinai claims that the death was unrelated to the CRE bacteria. The hospital is currently investigating the situation, and is working with the FDA and the CDC to better understand and alleviate the situation.

More on the Outbreak

The outbreak in question stems from a bacteria known as CRE. CRE is highly resistant to antibiotics, and two patients at UCLA have already died as a result of infection. Investigators believe that the bacteria has spread via the aforementioned Olympus endoscopes, which are highly complex in construction and difficult to reprocess. Olympus of the Americas is currently under investigation by the FDA, and at least one lawsuit has already been filed. What’s most alarming, some reports indicate that UCLA and Cedars-Sinai may just be the tip of the iceberg. While UCLA brought this serious problem to light, other hospitals may already be facing similar outbreaks without even realizing it.

Have You Been Affected by the Outbreak?

If you have received an ECRP procedure at Cedars-Sinai or UCLA in recent months, and have reason to believe that you may have been exposed to the CRE bacteria, contact the attorneys at Nadrich & Cohen, LLP, for a free and confidential consultation. You may be entitled to compensation. We are a contingency law firm, and we don’t charge you a penny if we don’t win your case. Call us today at 310-826-8082.

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