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Dirty Devices Are Killing Patients. Can Congress Stop It?

A new bill would tighten design change rules, but the industry has blocked them before.
Photographer: Robert Llewellyn/Getty Images

Antibiotic-resistant superbugs spread by tainted endoscopes, those flexible devices used to peer into your body, have sickened hundreds and killed more than a few. Outbreaks at hospitals in Los Angeles, Seattle, and elsewhere have triggered regulatory warnings, litigation, and even a recall.

Now one California congressman wants to change a law governing medical device makers to prevent future infections: He wants them to tell the Food and Drug Administration when they make a design change.