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Olympus Issues Safety Warning Following Superbug Outbreak

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Jarod Cassidy2 years ago

Olympus, the manufacturer of the duodenoscopes at the center of a recent carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) outbreak, has issued an “urgent safety notification” that details new disinfecting procedures for their endoscopic devices.

About Olympus’ Safety Notification

According to MassDevice, the 13-page latter instructs that the duodenoscopes should be cleaned carefully with a small-bristle brush which is expected to be shipped out by May 8; however, the letter failed to mention whether it was safe to use the products before that date.

The devices have been linked to seven CRE infections, all traced back to a duodenoscope used at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and two deaths. Federal regulators have determined that the deadly bacteria spread even after the scopes were sterilized per Olympus’ instructions.

Health experts advise that while the devices are reusable, they can be extremely difficult to disinfect due to the device being made up of a number of movable, hard to access parts.

Further Details Concerning the CRE Outbreak

  • Olympus is facing multiple lawsuits concerning the outbreak alleging that the manufacturer failed to update sterilization protocols following recent changes to their Q1800V duodenoscope.
  • The scope is similar to those linked to a previous outbreak in Seattle. That outbreak resulted in 32 infections and 11 deaths.
  • Generally, CRE has a mortality rate between 40 and 50 percent.


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