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ChrisPole/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Olympus America, the company that manufactures the duodenoscopes that were cited in the spread of a superbug at a Los Angeles hospital in February, released an urgent safety notification regarding updated cleaning processes to ensure high levels of disinfection in between uses.

The new process, which consists of "revised manual cleaning and high level disinfection procedures," should be implemented "as soon as possible," the company says. Olympus recommends using a small bristle cleaning brush to clean the scopes. The company anticipates shipping these brushes to facilities by May 8. "Until your facility has received the brushes, you should continue to clean the...duodenoscope in accordance with the original cleaning instructions."

The new process also includes "additional recess flushing" and "forceps elevator raising/lowering steps" during precleaning and manual cleaning. Facilities are additionally advised to flush the scopes with alcohol.

The company says that the updated procedures were reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


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Photo by Andrew Councill/MCT/MCT via Getty Images(BETHESDA, Md.) -- A patient being treated for the Ebola virus at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda was upgraded from critical to serious condition, the NIH said Thursday.

The NIH still did not share any additional details about the patient, who was admitted on March 12. The patient was volunteering at an Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone when they tested positive for the disease.

The patient is the second to receive treatment at the NIH Clinical Center. The first, Dallas nurse Nina Pham, contracted the disease while treating Thomas Eric Duncan. Pham was the first person to catch Ebola on U.S. soil in connection with the outbreak in West Africa. She was admitted to the NIH facility in October and later released Ebola-free.


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Credit: James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have launched a new set of anti-smoking ads featuring real smokers who are living with the long-term health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure.

The "Tips From Former Smokers" campaign was first launched in 2012. "Since its launch," the CDC says, "the Tips campaign has featured compelling stories of former smokers living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities and the toll that smoking-related illnesses have taken on them."

In September 2013, the Lancet medical journal published an article saying that the Tips campaign has motivated about 1.6 million smokers to attempt to quit smoking, with at least 100,000 U.S. smokers expected to quit permanently as a result of the campaign.  

The CDC posted videos featuring 27 real people on their website. "I smoked and got macular degeneration," a woman named Marlene says in one of the videos. "So I don't see very well."

After describing the first time she received one of the medical procedures she goes through as a result of her disease, Marlene says she "went home and I felt miserable, and I said to myself, 'Why the hell did I ever smoke?'"

"I would never have smoked if I knew that I was gonna be going through this," she says.


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Dallas County Sheriff's Department(DALLAS) -- A Dallas woman has been arrested for allegedly administering to patients illegal cosmetic procedures -- butt injections -- without a medical license, according to police.

Denise Rochelle Ross, known as "Wee Wee," turned herself in to authorities Wednesday because she had been wanted for practicing medicine without a license, according to the Dallas Police Department. Ross' bond was set at $500,000, according to court records. Her alleged accomplice, Jimmy Joe Clark, is still at large.

Ross was being held on $50,000 bond, and police did not know if she had yet entered a plea in the case.

According to the arrest affidavit, Ross, 43, allegedly made an appointment with a "patient" over the phone who agreed to pay $520 for her first butt injection session. At the appointment, Ross allegedly injected a substance into one buttock and Clark allegedly injected it into the other, but they were vague about what they were doing when they explained the procedure, the affidavit alleges. Ross allegedly said it was water-based liquid saline and then said it was Hydro Gel.

The patient "felt intense pain and was told to be quiet after screaming in agony," the affidavit says. Afterward, Ross and Clark allegedly closed the injection holes with super glue and cotton balls to keep any of the liquid from coming out. They gave the patient two tubes of the glue to take home.

Dr. Scot Glasberg, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, said illegal cosmetic procedures are on the rise among people hoping for a Kim Kardashian-looking rear end while looking to save money.

They can be harmful because often they're not done with medical-grade silicon, but rather with the type of silicon used in construction. The most common side effects of these underground procedures are pain from scar tissue and infection, but sometimes the patient experiences excessive bleeding or the injectable material travels through the blood stream to the lungs, he said.

"If you walk into a garage or a basement or a dimly lit little room somewhere, your natural instinct should be to walk away, to run away," Glasberg said. "The downside of a little saving on cost is, potentially, your life."

Attempts by ABC News to reach Ross' family members were unsuccessful.


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Fuse/Thinkstock(HONOLULU) -- A Honolulu woman who went blind two years ago will soon be able to see again thanks to her new bionic eye.

Surgeons at the Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii implanted the device on Tuesday into a 72-year-old Japanese-American woman who had gone blind two years ago due to an incurable hereditary disease called retinitis pigmentosa, said Dr. Gregg Kokame, who performed the operation. He told ABC News the hospital was not identifying the woman by name, but that she was the first person to receive the implant in the Asia Pacific region.

"She'll actually start to see motion, actually start to see somebody walk into the room and be able to see different shades of grey," Kokame said, explaining that she was totally blind and could perceive only some light before the four-hour surgery.

Kokame and his team implanted a microelectrode array on the surface of the woman's retina that connects wirelessly to a pair of glasses with a camera, he said. The glasses process images and transmit them to the implant, which then sends that information to the woman's optic nerve and onto her brain.

The device will not help the woman to see color or fine detail, but as the software advances, he said the implant will still be able to communicate with it.

The woman will heal for two weeks before Kokame and his team can turn the device on for the first time. He said she'll be able to see her loved ones first because he's sure they'll want to be right there with her.

"She was in very good spirits," he said. "She's a very pleasant, very strong lady. She's looking forward to having the implant turned on."

The device, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, costs $144,000, but it was covered by Medicare for this patient, Kokame said.


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