At a time when a “superbug” outbreak is playing havoc in country, an American lawmaker on Monday sought Congress to initiate a probe into the medical scopes that are being blamed for triggering the bacterial menace at a University of California, Los Angeles hospital, infecting seven patients.
Representative Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California, wrote a letter to Congress asking for a congressional oversight committee hearing that the drug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) outbreak is posing serious risks on “both health and national security” fronts.
In a letter to Congress, Lieu wrote, “A superbug infection can kill not only the patient who was exposed to a tainted duodenoscope but also family members, friends and hospital staff who interacted with the patient. If unmitigated, the human and societal costs of CRE outbreaks will continue to rise.”
The hospitals and medical centers across the US have reported similar exposures from the same type of medical equipment in the recent times.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), its experts have been working with other government agencies and scope manufacturers in order to keep a tab on the bacterial outbreak and lower the risks to patients.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is finalizing a set of guidelines for the prevention of medical devices that are leading to the transmission of potentially fatal “superbugs”. The federal agency has developed a new protocol for the reusable clinical devices called duodenoscopes, which has played a crucial role in the transmission of infections since 2013.
The devices were found responsible for transmitting antibiotic-resistant bacteria to seven patients at a hospital in University of California, Los Angeles. So far, the infection has claimed lives of two infected people.