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Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles announced on Wednesday that four patients had contracted a deadly, drug-resistant infection linked to a hard-to-clean medical device. The device, called a duodenoscope, also has been implicated in an outbreak of infections at Ronald Reagan U.C.L.A. Medical Center. The device, a long tube inserted down the throats of anesthetized patients, has microscopic crevices that may have harbored a superbug known as CRE, or carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, officials say. Cedars-Sinai said four patients contracted the infection after undergoing procedures between August and January. One later died, but the cause was an unrelated disease. Hospital officials said they had mailed letters to dozens of other patients who had had the procedures “out of an abundance of caution.”

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