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Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP | Apr 13, 2017

Preventing Silicone Oil Contamination of the Eye with Avastin Injections, Part I

Categories: Defective Drugs and Medical Devices

We have previously discussed the fact that many prefilled syringes are coated with silicone oil in several places, and that this is the source of the silicone contamination that may result from Avastin eye injections for patients with macular degeneration and other related conditions. Specifically, the silicone comes from the needle, the syringe barrel, and the plunger that is pressed down through the barrel at the time of injection.

In a large study of eye injection patients conducted between 2004 and 2007, investigators tried two different syringe designs. The first was called a “staked-on” needle syringe and the other was called a “luer cone” needle syringe. The advantage of the luer cone design was that there is a compartment at the tip of the barrel right next to where the needle attaches. It is in that compartment where the silicone is captured prior to the Avastin or other drug proceeding through the needle and into the eye.

There is compelling data to show that the “luer cone” needle syringe was effective in preventing silicone particle contamination of the eye, and that the “staked on” needle allowed silicone to get into the eye. Of the 319 patients who received injections through the “staked on” needle design, 141 of them were reported to have signs of intravitreal silicone oil. On the other hand, and of the 58 patients who received only “luer cone” needle injections, none of them had signs of intravitreal silicone oil.

This data was published in 2009 and was made public by the National Institute of Health. Sadly, it appears that many of the compounding pharmacies that prefill syringes with Avastin were not paying attention. Silicone particle contamination of the eye can and should have been prevented. Unfortunately, in many cases it was not.

When compounding pharmacies tasked with prefilling syringes fail to take reasonable measures in ensuring the safety of their products, they can be held accountable for their negligence and liable for damages innocent victims suffer as a result. This is why patients who have experienced complications associated with Avastin, including silicone floaters and contaminants in the eye, may have the right to pursue compensation for their damages.

Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP is actively investigating cases from victims who received an Avastin eye injection and later experienced complications, vision problems, or floaters. Our award-winning legal team has earned a reputation as bold and unwavering advocated for the injured and the wronged, and has secured numerous positive results for clients since 1946, including victories in complex class actions. If you or someone you love has been affected by Avastin, we are readily available to review your case, discuss whether you may have a valid claim, and explain how we can help.

Call (216) 600-0114 for a free consultation.