Recalled Artificial Tears Eye Drops Linked to Fourth Death, CDC Reports
Amid continuing concerns about bacterial contamination that resulted in an Artificial Tears eye drops recall earlier this year, federal disease experts have confirmed additional reports involving severe infections among users nationwide, and indicate that at least four people have died.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an update on the Artificial Tears infection outbreak on May 15, indicating that the agency is aware of at least 81 infections linked to the recalled eye drops in 18 different states. In addition to four deaths linked to severe infections that resulted from the eye drops, the agency indicates that a number of other cases involved hospitalization or individuals who suffered vision loss, with at least another four cases resulting in the need for surgical eye removal.
The Artificial Tears recall was first issued in February 2023, leading health officials to warn consumers and medical providers to immediately stop using EzricCare and Delsam Pharma Artificial Tears eye drops, which have been found to be contaminated with carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Artificial Tears Infection Recall
Information about the Artificial Tears infection outbreak first surfaced in late January 2023, when the CDC identified a cluster of individuals experiencing bacterial infections after using EzriCare eye drops. This immediately led to calls for a recall, and a steadily growing number of Artificial Tears lawsuits brought both by individuals diagnosed with infections, as well as consumer class action claims that seek economic damages and medical monitoring.
The recall initially impacted 15 ml bottles of EzriCare Artificial Tears, sold in a blue box, and Delsam Phama Artificial Tears, sold in a white box. However, several weeks later, the FDA expanded the recall to include Delsam Pharma Artificial Eye Ointment as well.
The EzriCare and Delsam Pharma Artificial Tears were sold through Amazon.com, Walmart and other nationwide retails, and have been widely used by consumers for symptoms of dry or itchy eye symptoms, or other eye conditions, such as glaucoma or ocular hypertension. The recalled eye drops were also distributed directly to hospitals, healthcare centers and nursing homes nationwide.
CDC investigators began looking at the Artificial Tears products after several Pseudomonas aeruginosa outbreaks in nursing homes surfaced in Connecticut and Utah, and have indicated that elderly or infirmed individuals may face the greatest risk. That trend continued in the lastest update, the CDC reports.
Health officials indicate that all consumers should be aware of the potential eye infection symptoms, which may include;
- Yellow, green, or clear discharge from the eye
- Eye pain or discomfort
- Redness of the eye or eyelid
- Feeling of something in your eye (foreign body sensation)
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Blurry vision
Artificial Tears Eye Drops Lawsuits
As the number of reported eye drops infections continue to rise, a series of eye drops lawsuits have been filed in recent weeks, claiming the manufacturers failed to perform proper microbial testing, allowing the products to be sold directly to consumers containing Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
The Artificial Tears lawsuits indicate that, as a result, consumers have now suffered eye infections that have resulted in permanent vision loss and other injuries.
Lawyers are actively investigating potential eye drop infection lawsuits against the manufacturers and distributors of EzriCare and Delsam Pharma’s eye drops for multiple injuries and side effects caused by the contamination, including;
- Eye Infection
- Partial Blindness
- Permanent Blindness
- Bloodstream Infection
- Other injuries caused by the eye drops
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