Drug-Resistant Bacteria Spread By Medical Equipment in Seattle

Health officials have reported that 38 patients at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle have been infected with drug resistant bacteria as a result of contaminated medical equipment. The infections happen over a 2 year period from 2012 to 2014. Drug resistant bacteria, like the Carbapenum-resistant enterobacteriaceae that were transmitted through the Seattle hospital, are hard to treat and can result in serious conditions like pneumonia, meningitis, and blood stream infections.

The infections were spread from patient to patient through endoscopes used to treat liver and pancreas conditions.Virginia Mason Medical Center and public health officials have ascertained the sterilization of the scopes according to manufacturer guidelines. The three major producers of the scopes are Olympus Corp, Fujifilm, and Pentax, all of whom have disinfectant recommendations which were approved by the FDA. Similar incidents took place in Pittsburgh in 2012 and Chicago in 2014.

“This is a national problem. We determined that the endoscope manufacturer’s, as well as the federal government’s, recommended guidelines for processing the scopes are inadequate,” said a statement released by Virginia Mason Medical Center.


Read More – Superbug Spread Through Contaminated Scopes Sicken Dozens in Seattle (Reuters, Victoria Cavaliere)


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Originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, Millan is a senior at the George Washington University studying Biological Anthropology.


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