FDA sets May meeting to review contamination problems with widely-used medical scopes

Associated Press

Federal health officials will meet in May to review problems with the design and cleaning of specialized medical instruments at the center of at least two recent "superbug" outbreaks.

The Food and Drug Administration has set a two-day meeting for mid-May to gather expert opinion on improving the safety of the specialized endoscopes, which are used in about 500,000 procedures each year.

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The meeting's announcement comes amid escalating criticism of FDA's oversight of the hard-to-clean devices, which have been linked to outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant bacteria at several hospitals. Last week 10 members of Congress asked the FDA to answer questions about the devices, including how the agency reviews manufacturers' cleaning instructions.

In the last month, two Los Angeles hospitals have reported the spread of superbug bacteria despite following manufacturer's instructions.