One of the biggest strengths of the U.S. medical system is its reputation for safety. Unfortuntately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has learned that some reused medical devices, including surgical tools and endoscopes (including bronchoscopes and colonoscopes) may have not been adequately “reprocessed” and exposed patients to microscopic amounts of blood, body fluids, and tissue from other patients.

The FDA reported that the transmission of infection was extremely rare, but the potential for it existed. The agency is currently working with manufacturers and health care providers to reduce the risk of infection from inadequate reprocessing of these durable devices designed for repeated use.

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(Source: Press Release and Web link)