Pressure Increases as Federal Lawmaker Seeks Details from the Company Responsible for “superbug” Outbreaks

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., needs to know when Olympus Corp. initially learned of the issues and about its plans to update and supplant the specialized medical scopes, concurring a letter sent Monday. Lieu has already called for congressional hearings to research issues with the gadgets.

Olympus scopes were connected to contamination of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in 11 patients — two of whom passed away — at two different Los Angeles clinics a month ago. Clinic staff said the diseases happened regardless of following Olympus’ guidelines for cleaning the gadgets, known as duodenoscopes.

Comparative outbreaks including corrupted medical scopes already sickened many patients at clinics in rural Chicago and Seattle.

The issues have touched off a national debate about the well-being of reusable medical instruments and how they are directed. The Food and Drug Administration says it is not reviewing any duodenoscopes in light of the fact that they are basic for everyday hospital care, utilized as a part of a large portion of million U.S. procedures every year. Rather the agency is obliging more information on cleaning proficiency before permitting new duodenoscopes available and asking makers to upgrade more established gadgets.

Meanwhile, FDA controllers have suggested hospitals consistently test duodenoscopes for the vicinity of perilous microorganisms, a research facility process which can take two days or more. Accordingly, a few doctor’s facilities are buying more duodenoscopes to compensate for those out of commission for testing. The gadgets can cost up to $40,000 each.

“It seems fundamentally unfair for Olympus to be selling more duodenoscopes to these same hospitals as a result of the design problems created by Olympus in the first place,” states Lieu, whose congressional district includes both LA hospitals affected by the problem.

Lieu asks whether Olympus will consider donating scopes to hospitals “until the design or cleaning problems have been resolved.”

Duodenoscopes comprise of an adaptable fiber-optic tube that is strung down the throat, through the stomach and small digestive system to diagnose and treat conditions in the pancreas and bile ducts.


The tip of the scope incorporates movable parts for instruments to help evacuate tumors, gallstones and different blockages. However this complex plan likewise makes the instruments hard to clean. Organic liquids and different particles can stay in the gadget’s joints and cleft even after cleaning and disinfection.

A representative for Olympus Corporations of the Americas said in an announcement the organization is evaluating Lieu’s letter.

“As a medical device manufacturer, Olympus continuously strives to improve our products for safe and effective use,” According to Mark Miller, a vice president with the company, which is based in Japan.

The FDA already uncovered that Olympus did not look for government clearance for the most recent form of its duodenoscope, which it started selling in 2010.

FDA clearance is needed for all substantive redesigns to medicinal gadgets sold in the U.S. The organization’s Olympus TJF-Q180V duodenoscope is presently under FDA survey.

Regardless of the absence of clearance, the FDA said specialists ought not quit utilizing the gadget in light of the fact that it is not clear that a government survey would have kept the pollution issues.

The organization said diseases have been accounted for with gadgets from both of Olympus’ rivals, Pentax Medical and Fujifilm.






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