You may have heard the term superbug in the news lately. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (En-tero-bacteria-ce·ae) (CRE) has been linked to several deaths around the United States after those patients had endoscopic procedures using a duodenoscope. CRE is often referred to as a superbug because it's resistant to the carbapenem antibiotic and other commonly used antibiotics.
The duodenoscope is a complex instrument used in an endoscopic procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Bret Petersen, M.D., calls the ERCP a very important procedure that potentially saves many lives and says more than 100,000 ERCP procedures are done annually in the U.S.
Instruments used in common procedures such as colonoscopy and upper endoscopy have not been related to these cases of CRE. Dr. Petersen says patients should not be fearful of having these important procedures.
Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Petersen are available in the downloads.