Scopes Faulted for Hospital 'Superbug' Outbreak Were New, Cleaned Properly, Officials Say

Patients caught drug-resistant "superbug" CRE from two contaminated endoscopes.

"There are several manufacturers for these scopes," said Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, deputy chief of the acute communicable disease control program, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. "Because of the complexity of these scopes, which is necessary for the life-saving procedures for these scopes, they are very, very difficult to clean. The manufacturer recommendations were followed by UCLA."

"The patient developed almost immediately an infection afterwards with unusual bacteria that was resistant to strains of normally active antibiotics," Rubin said, explaining that it took time to trace the cases back to this original patient.

The hospital has now taken all of its scopes out of use, and has implemented additional cleaning protocols beyond manufacturer recommendations. It has emailed and called all patients who underwent endoscopy from Oct. 23 through Jan. 28, officials said.