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Recalled BD PosiFlush Heparin Syringes, Saline Syringes Linked to Serratia Marcescens Bloodstream Infections

Earlier this year, Becton Dickinson (BD) recalled a number of herparin flush syringes and pre-filled saline syringes, which have been linked to reports of Serratia marcenscens bacterium infections; which can cause serious and life-threatening health complications, especially for already ill children. 

The BD PosiFlush heparin syringe and BD Pre-Filled Normal Saline Syringe recall was originally issued in April 2018, after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked the syringes to at least 14 serious bloodstream infections among children in four different states.

The illnesses occurred in Tennessee, Colorado, Minnesota and Ohio, according to the CDC. The illnesses occurred among seriously ill children who were given the drugs through intravenous injections through a catheter central line. No deaths have been linked to the infections, and the CDC said in May that the illnesses appeared to be winding down.

The recalled syringes include 21 lots of BD PosiFlush Heparin Lock Flush Syringes with catalog numbers 306509, 306510, 306511, 306512, 306513, 306514, 306515, 306516, 306517, 306521, 306525, 306528, and 306531 and BD Pre-Filled Normal Saline Syringes with catalog numbers 306500, 306502, 306503, 306504, 306505, 306507, 306508, and 306518.

BD asked healthcare professionals to check their inventories for the catalog and lot numbers listed in the recall and to quarantine the products subjected to the recall.

Heparin, derived mainly from pig intestines, has been linked in past years to serious contamination events. FDA investigations found that heparin sold throughout the United States during late 2007 and early 2008 contained a replacement ingredient known as oversulfated chondroitnin sulfate, which should not be in the drug. The contaminated heparin ingredients were produced at a plant in China. The substitute chemical is substantially cheaper than heparin and was linked to numerous allergic reactions and a number of lawsuits.

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