Drug-Resistant Pathogen Claims Another Life Despite Recall: If This Is in Your Medicine Cabinet, Throw It Out Now
Eyedrops that were recalled in February are the cause of one death and six cases of vision loss since that time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“These were catastrophic and life-altering infections,” said Maroya Spalding Walters, who leads the CDC’s antimicrobial resistance team, according to NBC.
“Make sure that these recalled products are not still present, aren’t hiding on a shelf,” Spalding Walters said.
She noted that not everyone is aware of recalls.
“Anytime a product is recalled, there’s always a chance that it’s going to be still in homes and be used months or years down the road,” she said.
The CDC warned in its new update that “patients should stop using EzriCare or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears and Delsam Pharma Artificial Ointment.”
Cases have been found in 18 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin, the CDC reported.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting an additional death and six more cases of vision loss linked to infections from eye drops recalled due to bacterial contamination. https://t.co/xh3RoNNM4X
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) May 19, 2023
The CDC reported that so far, 14 patients have suffered vision loss, four patients had to have an eyeball surgically removed, and four people died from an infection linked to the eyedrops.
Overall, 81 people have been infected from using the eyedrops.
The CDC report noted that some of those cases represented people who used the eyedrops before the recall.
Symptoms of an infection in the eye can include yellow, green or clear discharge from the eye; eye pain or discomfort; redness of the eye or eyelid; feeling like something is in the eye; increased light sensitivity; and blurry vision.
The CDC recommended that anyone experiencing any of these symptoms contact a health care professional immediately.
The eyedrops introduce a drug-resistant bacteria that’s known as pseudomonas aeruginosa into the body. This form of the bacteria had never been seen in America until this outbreak.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa “is a very dangerous bacteria because it could melt through the eye up to the cornea into the bloodstream pretty quickly,” said Dr. Daniel Laroche, president of Advanced Eyecare of New York and clinical associate professor of ophthalmology at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, according to USA Today.
“We usually find these strains in patients in health care settings, and they’re spreading patient-to-patient through health care workers who maybe forgot to wash their hands, through contaminated medical equipment, or contamination in the health care environment,” Spalding Walters said, according to CBS.
In April, the Food and Drug Administration said Global Pharma Healthcare facility in India did not follow proper protocol to prevent contamination of its products, according to CNN.
The FDA inspection cited a “manufacturing process that lacked assurance of product sterility” for products made between December 2020 and April 2022 that were shipped to the United States.
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