In Seattle, 39 people were infected at the Virginia Mason Medical Center between 2012 and 2014; 11 eventually died. All were critically ill when they were infected, but it was unclear if the bacterial infection contributed to their deaths, Seattle public health officials said at the time. Four patients in March 2015 were infected with bacteria from a contaminated scope and 67 more were at risk at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, weeks after UCLA Ronald Reagan hospital reported 8 patients were similarly infected and scores more potentially exposed; 3 of the UCLA patients eventually died.
As the outbreak at UCLA was linked to the Olympus duodenoscopes and the devices were taken out of service, the hospital asked Olympus for replacements, according to the Los Angeles Times. Olympus responded by raising the price by 28% over what it had charged months earlier, the Times reported, citing UCLA emails obtained from a public-records request.
Olympus spokesman Mark Miller told the newspaper that the emails with UCLA “represent standard business discussions within Olympus and between company personnel and customers.” The hospital later turned to an Olympus rival, Hoya Corp.‘s (TYO:7741) Pentax subsidiary, to supply the new ‘scopes, although it continues to buy Olympus products, according to the newspaper.
In January, the FDA cleared a redesigned version of Olympus’s TJF-Q180V duodenoscope, with modifications intended to reduce the risk of bacterial infections.