Recently, a bacterial outbreak in Seattle, which was linked to the death of 7 patients, is attributed to contaminated duodenoscopes. It has been confirmed that in five of these cases, patients were contaminated with CRE (Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae), a bug that is resistant to most antibiotics.
Although several CRE outbreaks in the US have been traced back to duodenoscopes that have not been properly disinfected, neither endoscope manufacturer's nor the FDA have established guidelines for reprocessing the special channels of these scopes. Some physicians have taken this issue into their own hands by developing protocols for adequately disinfecting duodenoscopes. Currently, regulatory bodies continue to recommend that adhering to the reprocessing guidelines of endoscope manufacturers as well as federal reprocessing guidelines to minimize the risk of infection.
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