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ESBL is not CRE, but Hartford Hospital is still worried

If you are a current events kind of person you are aware that there's new concern within the public health community about the risks of hospital-acquired infections. These are considered infections that should not happen ever. But as we noted in a post a few weeks back, they do occur and there have been cases in which patients have died.

Some question whether there is legitimate reason to level personal injury claims, especially when hospitals say they have done all they were supposed to do to prevent the infections. Still, suits have been filed in California and more are likely.

Notably, the defendant in the first such suit is the manufacturer of the duodenoscope device suspected of being the source of the antibiotic resistant CRE bug that infected the two patient plaintiffs. Both patients claim negligence and fraud on the part of the scope's maker, Olympus. And CNN has reported that Olympus didn't have FDA approval to sell the devices.

Up to this point, there are no apparent cases of CRE infection recorded in Connecticut. But Hartford Hospital says a bug of another kind has turned up. And the appearance of the drug-resistant bacteria may be linked to the same type of scope used in California.

Hospital officials issued a statement this week informing the public that cultures of the extended spectrum beta-lactamase E. coli bacteria, or ESBL, are on the rise at the facility. The announcement stresses that this is not the deadly CRE superbug and it's believed that no Hartford patients are in danger. Officials say the scope in question is no longer in use and all patients who have had procedures using that type of device are being notified.

The hospital says patients who may have been exposed to the devices are asked to come in for additional checks.

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