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Lawmakers Step Up Fight Against “Superbug” Outbreaks

March 31, 2015 — In the aftermath of several deadly outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant “superbug” bacterial infections, the White House and state lawmakers are demanding action to curb the emergence of this public health threat.

Much of the blame has fallen on Olympus Corp., manufacturer of a duodenoscope that was never approved by the FDA and has complex mechanisms that are extremely difficult to sterilize between uses. Olympus has since updated the cleaning procedures.

However, U.S. Representative Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles) is also demanding action from Pentax Medical, manufacturer of a duodenoscope that was linked to 40 “superbug” CRE infections at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital near Chicago, Illinois.

According to the Los Angeles Times, he said in a letter to Pentax:

“I would like to know Pentax’s reaction to Olympus’ new cleaning procedures and whether Pentax is following a similar approach. Multiple patients nationwide have been exposed to the deadly CRE infections as a result of Pentax duodenoscopes.”

Last week, the White House published a 63-page action plan outlining five goals to meet over the next five years.

Over 80% of antibiotics are given to animals to promote growth and stave of disease, but the practice is a major contributor to antibiotic-resistance in bacteria. The White House made it a top priority to “eliminate the use of medically-important antibiotics for growth promotion in animals.”

The White House also wants to spend $1.2 billion over the next five years to strengthen surveillance efforts, develop faster diagnostic tests, accelerate research, and improve international collaboration.

Do I have a “Superbug” Infection Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting duodenoscope induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with a “superbug” infection, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Medical Device Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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