Another Olympus Scandal.....this is a big one.

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by D7k1, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    Read about it here medical scopes:

    This is the majority of Olympus business and its ranges world wide. This article connects a lot of the dots. I can't images the cost in sales, law suites, and reputation when this hits the courts and general public. As one who had this procedure last year, I am somewhat angry even though I love my EP5 and Olympus lenses.
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Hmmm - this is an article by a journalist with an agenda. I'm not saying that it's necessarily untrue, but infections in hospitals are very difficult to stop entirely and I don't see that the case against Olympus is proven. It would need a much more rigorous study to draw any conclusions.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    Yeah that seems kind of .. weird. Here's what that article says -

    Which reads like Olympus was under pressure from the competition and rushed out some device to compete that was dangerous. But here's the same paper's own reporting -

    FDA says firms have twice failed to show scopes can be rid of superbugs

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? That one reads a little less like "olympus concealed dangerous superbugs hiding out in its duodenoscopes" and a bit more "hospitals can't be 100% relied upon to properly clean any brand of duodenoscopes whatsoever".

    From the sounds of it (bacertia getting into an area that's inaccessable and meant to be sealed) I wonder if it's something they literally didn't think anyone was going to do more than once, like using something concentrated/hot enough to crack whatever plastic/rubber is common between all the brands.

    &ed - and yeah, look at this - from the first article -

    "two smaller firms" - not even "THE two smaller firms (we just mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago)" - leaves an impression that it's Olympus and some other small fry yet to be mentioned under examination.

    While Olympus quite possible did screw this up and deserve whatever's coming to them - the way it's written is the classic thing David Simon calls Pulitzer sniffing - endless references to paper's own reporting, shove a story into a clear binary outcome you can claim credit for achieving, make a villian, never go deep into operating culture or institutions, etc.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
    • Like Like x 2
  4. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    With the first suite now being filed perhaps the "real" story will come out. I'm sure that this continuing article will put some pressure on the FDA to respond and any coverage of the legal action will also be a FDA pressure point.
  5. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Top Veteran

    It's also old news. This story broke around a year ago, maybe 18 months ago. I know it was discussed on DPR back then, maybe even here as well.

    This thing will wend its way through the courts, the lawyers involved will get rich, and life will go on.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    And it has nothing to do with M43 photography.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  7. As a hospital worker for the last 7 years, I have to say that, in general, hospitals are the worst places to be..unless absolutely necessary. Infection control has become a real issue..and a huge source of frustration..among those working in patient care areas. I often feel like I'm walking through a mine field as I deal with patients in various departments. When this story started getting around several months ago, I asked one of our central supply techs about the Oly scopes. Central supply takes care of decontamination and cleaning of procedural gear..including surgical equipment. He said that he knew exactly the scope being referred to and that it was definitely a problem. I believe he mentioned something about how it was built. This could be taken care of with some training...which the hospital is always throwing at us anyway. So the fix would be easy...but will they do it?
    • Like Like x 1
  8. spdavies

    spdavies Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    Interesting the apparent excuses for Olympus here.
    I too like my Oly's, but the Netherlands incident is the smoking gun.
    They had 22 infections.
    Olympus technicians examined the scopes and found leaks and bacteria where they shouldn't be.
    Olympus sent warnings to hospitals all over Europe.
    But no warnings or any cautions about cleaning or bacteria to any of its other markets,
    including the biggest market, North America.
    And this was years ago.
    Meanwhile dozens more patients have been infected and dozens have died.
    The infections are directly connected to people who have had procedures with the Olympus scope.
    Yeah, let's "study" the problem longer while more people get sick and die.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. spdavies

    spdavies Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    And this is what it has to do with m4/3 photography.
    Olympus loses money (millions) every year on its photography division.
    While m4/3 builds a customer base,
    it is being supported by the profits from Oly's medical devices division.
    If that division gets hit hard with class action lawsuits and possible criminal charges,
    it could easily lead to the photo division being shut down.
    But there's always Panasonic (also losing money).
  10. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    The viability of one of two major m43 manufacturers is of interest to me, and if you are a working PRO it impacts what equipment you invest in for the long term . This makes this topic relevant.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    This makes the camera division a target for purchase by a larger competitor. Samsung has apparently sold their photographic division to Nikon; this could be a potential fast revenue source if things go really south for the lawsuit.
  12. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    In order to stop this type of infection, without crucial training, the scopes would have to to be as smooth as a lightbulb with no grooves or indentations of any type. This story has been run, multiple times, by the same source, with no mention of each previous story nor any real reply by Oly. Infection acquired in a hospital, called nosocomial infections, have been on the increase for years. One of the reasons is that, to save money, hospitals have gone from hiring private firms, specialized in cleaning equipment and operating rooms, to in house staff. Without specialized and continuously updated training, these in house people aren't as good. A new piece of equipment is introduced and the cleaning procedures must be updated as well. If not, you get results like in the story.

    I don't know why the LA Times keeps revisiting this, but I don't trust any media source that won't tell us that this is at least a follow up piece. I think there is an ax that is being ground some where, that isn't being mentioned.
  13. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    Here it's been a tendency to outsource, amalgamate and cram functions down to costs you could fit in your pocket, and this kind of stuff has been the result -

    'Blood, bone' found on sterilised hospital instruments, AMA says

    I've also had two mass-mailed letters from dentists who weren't properly cleaning their gear - the worst was the one from ages ago where they weren't even using autoclaves (can't remember what it was - barclave?). And my time working as RPAH in-house IT and watching that get turned into a giant fiasco ("let's spend millions of public money on infrastructure without ever once asking about client requirements and administer it with only the cheapest people we can get a work visa for"). That's my background going in to this. Let's just say - it leaves me open to considering the possibility that the hospitals would not be above f'ing it up and looking around for some other thing to pin it on :D 
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I noticed some interesting statistics there...


    "The Food and Drug Administration has identified 10 outbreaks of drug-resistant infections; seven are linked to Olympus scopes..."


    "Olympus holds 85% of the U.S. market for gastrointestinal scopes."

    At least on first reading, that sounds like Olympus scopes are 20% less likely to produce infection than competitors. If there has been any wrongdoing at all here, obviously I am not defending Olympus. But there needs to be a little bit of basic scientific literacy and evaluation when reading an article like this. Obviously, the situation is far more complex, and needs to take into account the specific hospitals, states, and policies involved in each of those 10 incidents in order to come to any conclusion. But when those two numbers are put together, something seems fishy.

    Maybe I'm wrong...
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    Not here to defend Olympus Medical but I've had four friends go into different hospitals for four different reasons (one for a broken leg). All four got serious infections including my friend with the broken leg who is still being treated for her infection! I think one of the biggest problems is not medical equipment. It's something I notice everytime I visit a friend in the hospital, when you're done visiting just walk casually around that floor of the hospital and count the number of doctors and nurses working on that floor. My average count per floor is between 4 or 5 doctors and I've never counted more than 1 nurse. I'm only including registered nurses (RN) or licensed practical nurses (LPN) in my count.
    Just MHO.
    Bobby :coffee-30:
  16. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    ..... I've seen on numerous occasions Dr.'s and male nurses, after flushing, walk out of the restroom without washing their hands ...... I guess that's MODERN medicine !!!!!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    This is an unsubstantiated rumor that keeps on cropping up. :shakehead:

  18. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    Well the court case in PA can be identified and the results should produce some real facts...I would think that Olympus would file a business interference suit if they felt the Times was fabricating facts like the European advisory.
  19. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    I was referring to Nikon buying Samsung as I quoted in my post. I was not referring to Olympus.

  20. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    I worked in a major hospital for many years and maintained equipment that was used to clean flexible endoscopes. We had incidents with both Olympus and Pentax endoscopes. After use processing of endoscopes is accomplished with hand cleaning followed by detergent and flushing with disinfectant such as glutaraldehyde and sometimes ultrasonic cleaning. The issue is that the disinfectants are contact germicidal agents. If any organic contamination is trapped inside normally sealed areas of the endoscope it will be impossible or at least extremely difficult for the germicidal agent to make contact and if contact is made only the surface microbes of the organic contamination will be killed. The infection control program was very active in this institution and did regular testing for infectious material. It is a constant battle to eliminate nosocomial infection in hospitals.

    Interesting thread. If you are interested check Olympus medical.
    • Like Like x 1
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.