An article in the Los Angeles Times today outlines another problem – inadvertent consequences of medical technology. Apparently they have some fancy scopes they use to perform ERCP’s (Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography – say THAT three times fast!). Well that fact that the procedure can CAUSE pancreatitis is one thing, but now it wasn’t adequately sterilized and gave 100 patients “CRE.” Now you should know that we like to name our REALLY nasty infections with letters. It usually starts with the antibiotic that DOESN’T work anymore and then the bacteria. In this case “carbapenem resistant enterococcus.” We also have “VRE” (vancomycin), “MRSA,” (methicillin resistant staph aureus) and my favorite: “MDR” for MULTI drug resistant.
UCLA claims they cleaned the scopes according to manufacturers recommendations, and I believe them. Nonetheless, we killed two more in L.A.