July 20, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

UCLA Medical Center officials to continue outreach to potential “superbug” patients

Seven patients have been infected with the bacteria, and two of them have died, hospital officials said. (Thinkstock)
Seven patients have been infected with the bacteria, and two of them have died, hospital officials said. (Thinkstock)

Officials at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center will continue outreach efforts today to patients potentially affected by a”superbug” outbreak that has infected at least seven people, killing two.

The hospital is notifying 179 patients who underwent endoscopic procedures between Oct. 3, 2014, and Jan. 28 that they may have been exposed. Seven patients have been infected with the bacteria, and two of them have died, hospital officials said.

Hospital officials insisted Thursday they followed all required procedures in handling the outbreak. They are even reaching out to patients who likely were not treated with a pair of medical scopes later found to be infected with the potentially deadly carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, bacteria.

The infections were traced to two of seven Olympus-manufactured duodenoscopes used by the hospital for the procedures, which are conducted to diagnose and treat diseases of the liver, bile ducts and pancreas. The hospital is notifying all 179 of the patients, even though not all of them were treated with the two scopes that carried the bacteria.

“We’re being very cautions and we’re actually contacting all patients who underwent (endoscopic procedures) … even if another scope was used on them,” said Dr. Zachary Rubin, the hospital’s director of infection prevention.

Dr. Robert Cherry, the hospital’s chief medical and quality officer, said a wider range of notification — including to patients not treated with the suspect scopes — was decided upon out of “an abundance of caution.”

“We’ve sent letters out, we’ve placed phone calls to each of those patients. We are offering free testing for those patients as well as any type of potential treatment options and discussions about those options,” he said.

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued a warning to hospitals through its safety communications systems about duodenoscopes. It said the design of the scopes may make them more difficult to clean, and it urged that they be washed meticulously.

UCLA officials said they had been following all the required steps for sterilizing the scopes, which are inserted through the throat and considered minimally invasive, but the infections still managed to spread.

The hospital has now switched to a more thorough cleaning system, involving a disinfection process at the hospital, then at an off-site process that uses ethylene oxide gas to sterilize the equipment.

Potentially exposed patients at UCLA are being offered a home testing kit that will then be analyzed at the hospital.

Hospital officials said similar exposures to CRE have been reported at other American hospitals that use the same type of scopes.

As soon as the infection was identified at UCLA, hospital officials said they notified the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, the department’s deputy chief of acute communicable disease control, hailed the work done by UCLA to identify the infection and reach out to patients.

The hospital “followed the procedures appropriately throughout,” Schwartz said.

He also stressed that the outbreak “is not a threat to the health of the public in L.A. County.”

Officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they are assisting the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health in its investigation of the UCLA infections.

CRE is a family of bacteria that is resistant to many common antibiotics. The bacteria can cause infections in patients who have other serious medical problems or who are “undergoing operations or other invasive procedures,” hospital officials said.

Since 2012, there have been about a half-dozen outbreaks affecting up to 150 patients in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Washington State, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Last month, Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle acknowledged that 32 patients were sickened by contaminated endoscopes from 2012 to 2014 with a bacterial strain similar to CRE. Eleven died. But, according to The Times, Virginia Mason said other factors may have contributed to their deaths because many of them were already critically ill.

Tags: , in News
Related Posts

Cinespia Announces Additional Special Screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

July 19, 2024

July 19, 2024

Featuring Tributes to Paul Reubens and Shelly Duvall and Annual Screenings Cinespia, the popular cinematic experience presented by Amazon MGM...

Michelle Bisnoff Arrested for $2 Million Investor Fraud Scheme

July 19, 2024

July 19, 2024

CEO of ESOS Rings Faces Securities and Wire Fraud Charges A Boca Raton woman was arrested today on charges of...

Felony Battery Suspect Arrested in South Brentwood Sexual Assault on July 16

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

26-Year-Old Taken Into Custody After Assault on Gretna Green Way Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Los Angeles...

(Video) Only One More Saturday Pop Up of Pa’s Biscuitisserie at Cardinale du Vin Left!

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

From 9 am to 2 pm, the best biscuits: their tribute to Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay biscuits and the best...

(Video) Cold Brew Lou Celebrates Three Years at the Motor Avenue Farmers Market With New Coffee Drinks

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Stay cool with Cold Brew Lou’s new creations, orange you curious? Check them out. @centurycitywestwoodnews Cold Brew Lou Celebrates Three...

Danny Boy’s Famous Original’s New Location Now Open in Westwood Village

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Acclaimed Chef Daniel Holzman Brings New York-Style Pizza to Westwood Daniel Holzman, celebrated chef and industry veteran, will open the...

New Restaurant Alert: All Roads Pinseria + Enoteca to Open in Brentwood on July 26

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Roman-Style Eatery Boasts Unique Pinsa and Italian Specialties, Italian Wines Exciting news for the Westside: All Roads Pinseria + Enoteca,...

Beverly Hills Police Deny Online Rumors of Threats Against Jewish Community

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

Chief Stainbrook Urges Public to Trust Official Law Enforcement Sources The Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) has addressed rumors on...

Sexual Assault Reported in South Brentwood, Suspect at Large

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

LAPD Confirms Incident, Community Seeks Help to Identify Man A post on Nextdoor this evening reported the shocking news that...

Elon Musk Plans to Move Twitter and SpaceX HQs Out of California

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

Move Follows SAFETY Act Being Signed Into Law by Governor  Elon Musk, billionaire and CEO of Twitter, Space X, and...

Judge Issues Final Ruling in Favor of Barrington Plaza Tenants Association

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

Decision against Landlord Finds Intent Does Not Meet Ellis Act Standards The final ruling in the case of the Barrington...

Governor Signs Landmark SAFETY Act to Shield LGBTQ+ Students in California Schools

July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024

New Law Prohibits Forced Outing Policies in Schools to Keep Students Safe The Support Academic Futures & Educators for Today’s...

The Donald Kaufman Brentwood Branch Library Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Week of Events

July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024

A Musical Performance, Visit From the Reptile Family and Special Reception The Donald Kaufman Brentwood Branch Library is celebrating its...

Covid-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, and Test Positivity Rates Rise in Latest CDC Reports

July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024

California’s Wastewater COVID-19 Levels Are Very High; JN.1 Variant Dominates Covid 19 is making a comeback this summer, with infection...

LAPD and Family Seek Public’s Help to Locate Missing 69-Year-Old Woman

July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024

Beryl Angela Thomas Last Seen in Fairfax Area; May Be Disoriented The family of Beryl Angela Thomas and detectives from...