Alcohol Swab Lawsuit Filed Over Death of Two Year Old from Infection

A Texas family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Triad Group, alleging that contaminated alcohol swabs, pads and swab sticks led to the death of their two-year-old child. 

The alcohol swab lawsuit was filed on February 13 by Sandra and Shanoop Kothari in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. According to the complaint, their child died of a Bacillus cereus infection after having surgical sites wiped with Triad alcohol prep pads and swabs that were recalled last month.

A Triad alcohol swab recall was issued in early January, after it was discovered prep pads, swabs and swabsticks could be contaminated with Bacillus cereus. The Triad swabs were commonly used in hospitals and packaged with a number of medications. They were also sold under a variety of labels, including CVS, Walgreens and Cardinal Health.

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The lawsuit claims that the child, who suffered from an arachnoid cyst, was admitted to a hospital to drain cerebrospinal fluid in late November. The plaintiffs claim that he handled the drains fine and there were no signs of infections. However, health care professionals used Triad alcohol prep pads and swabs on the child, and on November 30 he was diagnosed with a Bacillus cereus infection. That day, hospital staff told the parents there was nothing they could do for him and informed them they only had a few hours to spend alone with the boy. He died on December 1 of multi-organ failure brought on by Bacillus cereus bacterial meningitis.

According to the complaint, some or all of the prep pads used on the toddler were infected with Bacillus cereus, which is not commonly associated with hospital infections.

Bacillus cereus is responsible for about two percent of all foodborne illness, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Illness comes within 24 hours after exposure and can result in a diarrheal illness. Serious illness and permanent injury are very rare.

The lawsuit charges Triad with negligence, gross negligence, strict liability, and wrongful death and seeks damages for medical and funeral expenses, pain and mental anguish suffered by their child, pecuniary loss, loss of companionship and mental anguish for losing a child. They also seek punitive damages against the company for its actions.

At the beginning of this month, the FDA issued a reminder to all health care professionals to treat alcohol prep pads, swabs and wipes that are not specifically labeled as sterile as if they were unsterile objects. The Triad pads were not marked as sterile.

3 Comments

  • LiseannMarch 4, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    My mom has MS and also has horrible wounds on her stomach, she said it looks bad and she is about to go to the hospital in an huor to have surgery. She also gets those swabs sent to her in her betaseron medication kit....her Infection won't go away with the week long medication that was given to her.

  • MelissaFebruary 23, 2011 at 7:16 am

    I suffer from multiple sclerosis and take betaseron. The alcohol swabs are in the kit they send me. I ended up with cellucitus a few months ago. Was very bad. I now know why. Triad alcohol wipes are what is used in the kit. I could of died from this infection and now i have horrible scars even worse than before the infection on my stomach. My doctor told me i would need plastic surgery for my stom[Show More]I suffer from multiple sclerosis and take betaseron. The alcohol swabs are in the kit they send me. I ended up with cellucitus a few months ago. Was very bad. I now know why. Triad alcohol wipes are what is used in the kit. I could of died from this infection and now i have horrible scars even worse than before the infection on my stomach. My doctor told me i would need plastic surgery for my stomach to ever look even close to normal again. Something needs to be done!

  • ReneaFebruary 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I had 5 left knee surguries, 3 bacterial infections. 2 PICC lines inserted in my arm, several allergies to the antibiotics prescribed, and a heart attack. All during this ordeal, I had TRIAD alcohol wipes used on me!

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