Filthy Olympus endoscopes killed dozens of Americans and sickened hundreds more — but instead of coming clean about the risk, corporate bigwigs tried to sweep it under the rug.
One of them even called the deadly infection risk “acceptable,” according to newly released emails.
Here’s something else I hope they find acceptable: PRISON!
This wasn’t some kind of tragic mistake.
This was a blatant attempt to squeeze cash out of U.S. hospitals as patients were getting sick and would eventually die — and as the newly exposed emails show, the company KNEW about the risk.
They had already issued a warning to hospitals in France and The Netherlands that the scopes were easily contaminated, difficult to clean and could sicken patients.
In fact, a U.S. Senate report finds they already knew about at least THREE outbreaks — including one in Pittsburgh — linked to the company’s ‘scopes by the time this “acceptable” email went out.
But when the company’s American workers asked the bosses in Tokyo if they should issue a warning to American hospitals like the ones sent out in Europe, they were told to shut up about it.
Susumu Nishina, chief manager for market quality administration, told them ONLY to mention it if someone from a hospital asks first, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Over the next three years, there would be outbreaks all over the country linked to dirty endoscopes from Olympus and two other companies, and 35 patients DIED from those infections.
As the outbreaks spread, the company publicly played dumb — insisting that the ‘scopes weren’t being cleaned properly.
Privately, the emails tell another story.
As early as 2013, Olympus executives in the U.S. were trading emails with subject lines like “Duodenoscope safety recall??”
But no recall came until January of this year. By then, it was much too late for those 35 patients killed by infections.
At this point, I wouldn’t touch anything this company makes. I wouldn’t trust an Olympus camera to safely take my picture… and I’m sure as heck not going to let any of their medical devices anywhere near my body.
I’d advise you to do the same.
If you need to be ‘scoped with any piece of equipment and have time to schedule the procedure, shop around and ask questions. Ask what equipment is being used and how it’s cleaned.
You want to hear that they’re using either EtO sterilization and/or hydrogen peroxide gas plasma — the two most effective cleaning techniques out there.
Hospitals hate them because they take more time and cost more money, but what do you care? Your life is on the line, so insist on only the best.