Four patients have been infected with a deadly superbug at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the hospital said Wednesday, and an additional 64 may have been exposed.
Cedars-Sinai began investigating a possible link between CRE infections and one Olympus Corp. duodenoscope used from August to February of 2014 in a procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), according to the Los Angeles Times. That involves putting a scope down a patient’s throat to diagnose and treat problems in the digestive tract, like gallstones and cancer; about 500,000 people undergo ERCP every year.
A similar outbreak occurred at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center in mid-February. There, five people were infected by medical scopes with CRE bacteria, and two of them died.
CRE, or carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, kills up to half of those infected. One of the four patients at Cedars-Sinai has died, but the hospital said it was for an unrelated reason.