3 Patients Died in Suspected Pasadena Outbreak Tied to Tainted Medical Scopes

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At least three patients died last year at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena in an outbreak suspected to have been caused by tainted medical scopes, according to a newly discovered regulatory report.

Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena has notified patients that they may have been infected by a contaminated medical scope made by Olympus Corp. Above, Olympus showcases its ERCP scopes at a Washington medical conference in May. (Credit: Chad Terhune/Los Angeles Times)

Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena has notified patients that they may have been infected by a contaminated medical scope made by Olympus Corp. Above, Olympus showcases its ERCP scopes at a Washington medical conference in May. (Credit: Chad Terhune/Los Angeles Times)

Huntington hospital officials had confirmed in August that three patients were sickened the previous month but declined to say more about their condition. They later told Olympus Corp., the scope’s manufacturer, of the deaths, according to the company’s report to federal regulators.

Hospital officials said this week that they believed patient privacy laws prevented them from telling the public that the unnamed patients had died.

In an earlier similar outbreak at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, officials confirmed that patients had died.

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