A total of 179 patients might have been infected with an antibiotic resistant ‘superbug’ at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. So far 7 people were confirmed infected, two of whom died.
They were exposed to Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, during endoscopic procedures between October and January when it was discovered during tests on a patient, said Dale Tate, a University of California, Los Angeles spokeswoman.
The potentially infected patients are being sent free home-testing kits that UCLA will analyze, the university said.
The bacteria may have been a “contributing factor” in the deaths of two patients, a university statement said.
Officials at the hospital believe the bacteria was transmitted through contaminated medical tools, specifically two endoscopes.
“We notified all patients who had this type of procedure, and we were using seven different scopes. Only two of them were found to be infected. In an abundance of caution, we notified everybody,” Tate said.
The two medical devices were contaminated despite being sterilized as the manufacturer specified.
Similar bacterial infections has surfaced around country. The CDC said there are no records of national figures for outbreaks but that 47 states have seen cases.