- After 11 of at least 16 patients who were infected by contaminated medical scopes died, the Pasadena Public Health Department released a letter Wednesday stating the city's Huntington Hospital broke the law by failing to report the outbreak.
- Only one of the death certificates listed the drug-resistant bacteria - Pseudomonas aeruginosa -as the cause of scope contamination, The Los Angeles Times reported.
- The infections occurred between January 2013 and August 2015, after which the hospital said in a statement the outbreak was limited to three patients.
According to the health department's investigative report, the design of the scope as well as the hospital are responsible the failure of infection control. Investigators found residues in the machines that had been used to clean the scopes and instances where canned, compressed air was used to dry them.
In the state of California, hospitals are legally required to report to local officials an “occurrence of any unusual disease” or “any outbreaks of disease” in less than 24 hours.
The investigators also linked 15 of the infection cases to an Olympus duodenoscope (model number TJF-160F). Olympus sells about 85% of the duodenoscopes used in U.S. hospitals.
In February, following an investigation conducted by the U.S. Senate, the device maker started recalling one of its duodenoscope models that had been linked to 24 outbreaks across the world.
Huntington Hospital CMO Paula Verrette said the hospital has changed its practices based on the health officials' findings and recommendations, the LA Times reports. “Patient safety remains our highest priority,” Verrette said.