At this time, CRE infections have been reported in almost every American state causing hospitals and clinics to frantically look for ways to prevent the spread of the superbug going forward. The FDA has now released a statement regarding the recent CRE outbreaks which includes recommendations for patients and healthcare providers. Their statement includes steps that can be taken to promote awareness and understanding and provides instructions for reporting incidents, yet does not provide specific methods on how to ensure this bacteria is not transmitted going forward.
As a result, California lawmaker Ted Lieu has requested that congress investigate the issue which he says pose both health and national security risks. Lieu states that if the risk of this superbug is not mitigated, the human and societal costs will continue to rise. Additionally, healthcare facilities could face immense costs resulting from patient lawsuits. In spring 2013, Minnesota based UnitedHealth paid plaintiffs $24 million in compensatory damages and $366 million in punitive damages after referring the centre to patients after it was linked to a hepatitis C outbreak caused by unsafe injection practices.
This latest outbreak stresses the importance of having the controls in place to ensure that endoscopes are reprocessed in a consistent manner that continually meets and exceeds the regulatory requirements. ARC's products offer results that exceed the current North American requirements and meet the guidelines established in the United Kingdom, which are more detailed and extensive. ARC is currently in the late stages of developing a feature for our ECS1 which supplements the manual cleaning process of duodenoscopes by using a high pressure port to flush the tiny elevator mechanism even if reprocessing staff cannot properly brush it. This high pressure technology is also used in our PT3AER to ensure that all parts of a duodenoscope come into contact with the disinfectant solution for the required length of time to kill remaining bacteria.