Report: More infections from dirty scopes than estimated

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — At least 300 patients have been sickened by life-threatening infections linked to contaminated medical scopes — more than previously estimated by federal regulators, according to new figures released Friday.

Between 2010 and 2015 more than 41 hospitals worldwide, most in the U.S., reported bacterial infections linked to the scopes, likely affecting 300 to 350 patients, states a memo from California Congressman Ted Lieu. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration reported 142 patient infections from the medical scopes made by Olympus Corp. and other companies.

Lieu's office obtained the updated figures from the FDA as part of an ongoing probe into "superbug" infections tied to the devices.

The FDA came under fire early last year after several outbreaks at hospitals in Los Angeles and Seattle linked to the specialized scopes.