Contribute Try STAT+ Today

The now-infamous superbug outbreak related to a medical device that seriously sickened 350 people and killed at least 20 illustrates a huge problem in our medical system: poor monitoring of the safety of medical devices.

The episode in question lasted several years and involved a widely used duodenoscope, a flexible tube inserted in the mouth in order to reach the small intestine, made by Olympus. It began in January 2012 when Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands experienced an outbreak of a multidrug-resistant infection among 30 of its patients. An investigation linked the outbreak to the use of a specific Olympus duodenoscope, whose design flaws made it impossible to completely disinfect the device.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!


What is it?

STAT+ is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • STAT+ Conversations
  • Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.