Health

Los Angeles Hospital Warns 179 Patients Possibly Exposed to ‘Superbug’

An exterior view of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Bob Riha, Jr./AP Photo)
An exterior view of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Bob Riha, Jr./AP Photo)

 

(Reuters) – A large Los Angeles teaching hospital has told scores of patients they may have been exposed to a drug-resistant bacterial “superbug” during endoscopy procedures that infected seven patients and contributed to two deaths.

More than 170 patients who may have been infected by the carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, are being offered home testing kits that would be analyzed by the University of California at Los Angeles hospital system, UCLA officials said.

The possible exposures occurred at the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center between Oct. 3 and Jan. 28 during procedures in which a specialized endoscope is inserted down the throat to diagnose and treat pancreatic and bile duct diseases.

The UCLA hospital system said an internal investigation determined in late January that CRE may have been transmitted to patients by two of seven scopes being used by the center, all made by Olympus Medical Systems Group.

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