A Los Angeles-area hospital said that some of its patients contracted an antibiotic-resistant ”superbug” that has been linked to a type of medical scope and infected dozens of people around the country.
Huntington Memorial Hospital said in a statement Wednesday that it notified public health authorities after several patients who had procedures using Olympus Corp. duodenoscopes were found to have the resistant pseudomonas bacteria.
The hospital said it has quarantined the scopes while it investigates whether they may be linked to the infections.
The Los Angeles Times said (http://lat.ms/1J5p3pl ) the problem was discovered in June and three patient infections have been reported to health officials. The hospital did not give a figure for the number of cases.
A dozen infections were reported earlier this year at Cedars-Sinai and UCLA’s Ronald Reagan medical centers in Los Angeles. Three patients died.
Drug-resistant bacterial infections around the country have been linked to contamination of the reusable scopes, which are used for a procedure known as endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. The fiber-optic scopes are placed down a patient’s throat to diagnose and treat gallstones, blockages and cancers of the digestive tract.
The hospitals said the infections occurred even though the devices had been cleaned to the manufacturer’s standards. They have since implemented more stringent disinfection procedures.
Olympus is the market leader for duodenoscopes in the U.S., accounting for about 85 percent of sales, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.