REP. TED LIEU STATEMENT ON REPORT OF LIKELY SUPERBUG RELATED FATALITIES

May 5, 2016
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) issued the following statement after the Los Angeles Times revealed that three people likely died in a hospital in Pasadena, CA from a superbug outbreak due to tainted medical scopes.

“New information brought to light today by the Los Angeles Times reveals that three patients likely died from a superbug outbreak due to tainted medical scopes at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, highlighting again the danger which antibiotic resistant bacteria, or superbugs, pose to our public health.  This is why I recently introduced H.R. 4965, the DEVICE Act, and H.R. 4966, the Preventing Superbugs and Protecting Patients Act.  This legislation would mandate that cleaning instructions for medical devices be scientifically proven to work, and that design changes and safety warnings for devices are reported to the Federal Drug Administration.

“Olympus has known since at least 2012 about scope problems and had they acted earlier, potentially three deaths could have been avoided.  If Olympus’s device cannot be cleaned effectively, it should not be on the market.  Patients should not have to worry that when they undergo a medical procedure the medical device used could expose them to a deadly superbug.  President Obama has declared superbugs a national security priority and last year issued a five year plan of action.  I call on Congress and all levels of government and local officials to work together to combat this vital threat to our public health and national security.”

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