Second Los Angeles hospital reports 'superbug' infections

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

LOS ANGELES, Calif -- A second hospital in Los Angeles says several patients have been infected with a "superbug" tied to a medical scope similar to a recent outbreak at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center said Wednesday four patients were infected during endoscopic procedures between last August and January. The hospital says one of the patients died from an underlying medical condition and not from the superbug known as CRE.

Cedars says infections occurred despite cleaning the scope to the manufacturer's standards. The hospital says it removed the device from use and is enhancing its cleaning procedures.

The hospital says there's no evidence other patients are at risk, but as a precaution it's sending free home test kits to 68 patients who had procedures done at the hospital.

The hospital issued a statement: "Despite the fact that Cedars-Sinai meticulously followed the disinfection procedure for duodenoscopes recommended in instructions provided by the manufacturer (Olympus Corporation) and the FDA, the medical center's infection-control specialists announced today that their investigation has identified a total of four patients who had a CRE transmission (carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae) linked to an ERCP procedure. The same duodenoscope was used in all four patients, whose ERCPs occurred between August 2014 and January 2015."

The hospital also said: " Cedars-Sinai removed the particular duodenoscope from use and is continuing to use enhanced disinfection procedures for duodenoscopes -- above and beyond the manufacturer's recommendations -- as it has since first hearing reports from other hospitals on Feb. 19 that the manufacturer's disinfection recommendations may not be sufficient to protect patients."