FDA Issues Warning about Endoscopes After Superbug Outbreak

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The superbug outbreak at UCLA hospital was in the news last month, and if you have a procedure coming up which requires the use of a medical endoscope or duoendoscope, you may have some issues and concerns.

Following the superbug outbreak, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the use of ERCP endoscopes, also known as duoendoscopes, in medical procedures. According to the warning, the complex design of ERCP endoscopes makes it difficult to reprocess the devices.

What is reprocessing? It’s the process of cleaning and disinfecting or sterilizing reusable medical instruments. The superbug outbreak occurred at UCLA hospital despite the fact that the manufacturer’s reprocessing instructions were followed correctly. The FDA warning notes: “Meticulously cleaning duodenoscopes prior to high-level disinfection should reduce the risk of transmitting infection, but may not entirely eliminate it.”

According to the FDA, more than 500,000 ERCP procedures using ERCP endoscopes or duoendoscopes are performed on Americans every year, as the procedure is the least invasive way to drain fluids from blocked pancreatic and biliary ducts.

The FDA recommends that patients who are considering undergoing procedures requiring the use of a duoendoscope should discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with their doctor, and to ask their doctors what symptoms following the procedure may be a sign of a serious problem, rather than the normal mild symptoms sometimes experienced following ERCP.

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice and are seeking a qualified medical malpractice attorney, contact Los Angeles doctor-turned-lawyer Bradley I. Kramer for a free consultation today.

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