Infections Are Linked To Hard-To-Clean Medical Devices
Mar 20, 2018
A year ago, two patients died and several more suffered serious complications as a result of drug-resistant bacterial infections at a Los Angeles hospital. It turned out that an endoscope used at the hospital – a device to look inside a patient’s digestive system – was designed in a way that made it difficult to clean properly before reusing. As a result, bacteria cells from one patient were being transferred to others.
It now appears that this is not an isolated problem. Both the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration have issued warnings that patients may be vulnerable to outbreaks from contaminated medical instruments. And this is true not only for hospital patients, but also for outpatients at doctors’ offices and clinics.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, a recent inspection of clinics in Washington state showed “inconsistencies and potential inadequacies” in the disinfection of reusable devices. And a community health center in Arizona recently had to warn patients to get tested for possible infections after discovering that some equipment hadn’t been properly sterilized.
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