Triad Wipes Linked to 8 Deaths, 11 Infections, 250 Reports of Problems

Federal health officials are investigating the death of a 66-year old man, which may be the eighth fatality linked to problems with tainted Triad alcohol wipes, which were recalled about six months ago due to contamination with the bacteria Bacillus cereus.

Millions of Triad wipes, swabs and alcohol pads were recalled earlier this year due to potential contamination with the bacteria, which can can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening infections.

According to a report by MSNBC, the FDA has received at least of eight reports from doctors and patients involving deaths from Triad wipes, 11 reports of Triad wipe infections and more then 250 other problems associated with the products. However, most of the reported deaths have not involved enough evidence for investigators to truly follow up.

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The FDA has indicated it is investigating the death of an unidentified man who used the wipes while battling squamous cell skin cancer. He contracted a blood infection after using Triad wipes while using a diabetes monitoring home test.

The death appears to be the second that investigators are fully reviewing in connection with the contaminated wipes. The first death linked to the wipes was that of Harrison Kothari, a Texas two-year-old. His parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Triad Group and its parent company, H&P Industries.

H&P issued a Triad wipes recall in early January 2011, after it was discovered that prep pads, swabs and swabsticks tainted with the bacteria Bacillus cereus may have been distributed to consumers.

The recalled Triad wipes, prep pads and swabs were commonly used in hospitals and packaged with a number of medications. They were also sold under variety of other labels, including CVS, Walgreens and Cardinal Health.

Last month the FDA put a permanent injunction against the company doing any kind of business until it has established that its products are safe and that a number of systemic production problems have been solved. H & P indicates that it plans to meet the FDA’s requirements and re-open its business in the future. 

In addition to the Kothari wrongful death claim, at least two other Triad wipe lawsuits have been filed against the H&P Industries. One by a Tennessee man who alleges that a Triad alcohol prep pad infection left him permanently disabled, and a third that was filed by a 31-year-old Colorado woman with multiple sclerosis who alleges she contracted a life-threatening infection. The parents of a 10-year-old boy with leukemia who fell ill at The Children’s Hospital have also said they intend to file a lawsuit.

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


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