The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that at least three people have died due to severe infections caused by now-recalled bacteria-contaminated eyedrop products. Another four people at least have lost one eye entirely, and twice as many have suffered permanent blindness in at least one eye. Interviews with the patients helped investigators narrow in on the problem: several eyedrops products that had become contaminated by Pseudomonas aeruoginosa, an antibiotic-resistant bacterial strain.
Eyedrop products that have been recalled due to the risk of a potentially fatal infection include:
- EzriCare - Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops
- Delsam - Pharma Artificial Eye Ointment
- Apotex - Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution, 0.15%
- Pharmedica - Purely Soothing, 15% MSM Drops
- Aru Pharma Lubricant Eye Drops
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports the recalled eyedrops had been distributed in:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
What Harm Can Contaminated Eyedrops Cause?
If Pseudomonas aeruginosa enters the bloodstream, it can cause widespread injury and harm to the user. However, it is most likely to cause eye damage because eyedrops are placed directly and repeatedly on the eye.
Dozens of people who have used the recalled eyedrops have reported these eye injuries:
- Permanent eye injury
- Temporary vision loss
- Total blindness
As recently updated by the CDC, though, three people have died due to bloodstream infections that began in the eye. If you recently used the recalled eyedrops and are now experiencing pain, dryness, redness, swelling, or other eye infection symptoms, then please seek medical attention immediately.
How Did the Eyedrops Become Contaminated?
It is believed that EzriCare Artificial Tears, Delsam – Pharma Artificial Eye Ointment, and the other recalled eyedrops were susceptible to bacterial contamination because they were not manufactured with benzalkonium chloride (BAK). This substance is added to eyedrops as a preservative and antimicrobial. However, it is known to cause eye irritation in some users, so certain eyedrop products choose not to include it.
Recalled Eyedrop Lawsuits to Follow
It is likely that the eyedrop manufacturers will soon face a growing number of individual claims and multidistrict litigation (MDL). Strict product liability laws could allow everyone affected by the recall or injured by the eyedrops to take legal action and demand compensation. Damages in eyedrop recall lawsuits could include medical treatment costs, cost of living changes caused by permanent blindness, pain and suffering, and so on. It could also include wrongful death damages for certain lawsuits.
Do you think that you have an eyedrop recall lawsuit to file? Find out more information about what to do by dialing (216) 600-0114 and connecting with Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP. Our eyedrop recall attorneys are investigating the situation, which requires us to hear from as many potential claimants/plaintiffs as possible, so please reach out right away for a free consultation. We serve clients nationwide.