"Superbug" Exposure Reported at UCLA Hospital

More than 100 patients at a hospital in Los Angeles may have been exposed to a "superbug" that has been linked to at least 2 deaths at the facility.

More than 100 patients at a hospital in Los Angeles may have been exposed to a “superbug” that has been linked to at least 2 deaths at the facility.

A press release from the UCLA Health System indicated that 179 patients might have been infected at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center during “complex endoscopic procedures that took place between October 2014 and January 2015.”

While the equipment had been properly sterilized according to the manufacturer's standards, the statement noted that “an internal investigation determined that carbapenem-resistan Enterobacteriaceae bacteria may have been transmitted during a procedure that uses this specialized scope to diagnose and treat pancreaticobiliary diseases and may have been a contributing factor in the death of 2 patients.”

At the time of the press release, 7 patients were confirmed to be infected.

Noting that other US hospitals have reported similar infections, UCLA said that the 2 scopes “were immediately removed and UCLA is now utilizing a decontamination process that goes above and beyond manufacturer and national standards.”

Following the reported exposure, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and the California Department of Public Health were notified. Patients at the facility were also given home testing kits to be analyzed by UCLA staff, according to the statement.