3 died in hospital outbreak possibly caused by scopes


PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — A newspaper reports that at least three patients died last year at a Southern California hospital in a bacterial outbreak suspected to have been caused by tainted medical scopes.

Officials at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena confirmed in August that three patients were sickened but declined to say more about their condition.

The Los Angeles Times reports Thursday (http://lat.ms/26WBdiT ) that officials later told Olympus Corp., the scope’s manufacturer, of the deaths. The revelation came in the company’s report to federal regulators, which was obtained by the Times.

Hospital officials said this week that they believed patient privacy laws prevented them from telling the public that the unnamed patients had died.

Contamination of duodenoscopes, lightweight tubes threaded through the mouth into the top of the small intestine, has been linked to bacterial outbreaks that sickened dozens of patients in hospitals around the country.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/

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