“Superbugs” Related to Medical Instruments at Mercy
Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve heard some things in the news about certain scopes causing illness in patients. Am I safe?
Yes, you are absolutely safe at Mercy. Mercy uses several different types of scopes for various procedures. We’re confident in our cleaning and disinfection processes; we review them regularly and take sanitation very seriously to ensure there is no spread of bacteria through the use of our equipment.
The type of scope that has been in the news most recently is used at Mercy. In the 25 years since we began using this equipment, we have not had any cases of infection linked to the use of these scopes.
What exactly is the issue that I’m hearing about in the news?
The Food and Drug Administration has recently heightened warnings to doctors and hospitals that some commonly used medical scopes can be difficult to sanitize between uses and “may facilitate the spread of deadly bacteria.” This happened after patients were found to have been infected by a drug-resistant “superbug” at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center. Similar incidences have occurred at a handful of other hospitals in the U.S.
What is the equipment that is causing the issues at other hospitals?
It is a certain type of scope among many scopes used in hundreds of thousands of procedures each year in the United States to aid in imaging within the body. Doctors consider them an important tool in detecting and treating medical problems early and in a minimally invasive way.
Does Mercy use these types of scopes?
Yes, we have for many years and we do so safely by ensuring rigorous processes and oversight for sterilizing our equipment.
How are you ensuring that your equipment is safe for use and will not spread bacteria?
We have worked with the equipment vendor to review our disinfection processes. They have reinforced that Mercy’s protocols have been successful and the hospital is adhering to strict manufacturer guidelines. Mercy’s own Infection Control department conducts regular inspections and reviews as well.
Mercy adds new light disinfection system to bolster patient safety
Mercy takes patient safety seriously. In addition to the strict disinfection processes mentioned above for medical equipment and imaging scopes used at Mercy, Mercy is utilizing other equipment to destroys microorganisms like CRE, in patient rooms.
As part of the hospital’s ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of patients and employees, the hospital recently purchased a Sanuvox Aseptix Ultra Violet (UV) System to provide high-level sanitization of rooms being prepared for incoming patients. The new disinfection unit is utilized after Mercy’s Environmental Service staff has thoroughly cleaned each room by hand. This new disinfection system is a preventive and proactive measure to destroy microorganisms by emitting UV-C light throughout each room via two light towers. The light has the ability to reach even the more difficult areas to clean, such as curtains, pillows and cushions. This new sanitation initiative assures the highest standard of patient safety. Learn more.