Death, blindness, eye drops recall: California, other states report bacterial infections
Certain eye drops are being recalled in California, New York, Texas, Florida and eight other states after an “extensively drug-resistant” bacteria outbreak led to permanent blindness and death.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa — a strain that’s never been reported in the U.S. before the recent outbreak — is associated with several infections including eye infections. The rare germ has killed one person and blinded at least five others, according to a February health advisory statement from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Here’s what you need to know about which brands of artificial tears are being recalled and the health risks associated with using the drops.
Which eye drops are recalled?
National pharmaceutical company Global Pharma Healthcare pulled all EzriCare and Delsam Pharma’s lubricating artificial tears.
The over-the-counter eye drops, typically sold online, were recalled last week. The CDC found the rare germ in open EzriCare eye drops from patients with and without eye infections. A couple of days later the CDC added Delsam Pharma’s artificial tears products to the recall list.
EzriCare Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops have NDC No. 79503-0101-15 and UPC code 3 79503 10115 7.
Delsam Pharma Artificial Tears lubricant Eye Drops have NDC No. 72570-121-15 and UPC code 72570-0121-15.
If you have either of these eye drops, return them to the seller for a full refund.
What’s wrong with the eye drops?
Between May 2022 and January 2023, the CDC gathered information on pseudomonas aeruginosa, a rare germ that made its way to the U.S. for the first time.
Majority of the 55 patients from California, Florida, Texas, New York, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin used artificial tears. The group experienced hospitalization, vision loss because of a cornea infection, and death due to a bloodstream infection.
Of those 55, 35 people were in four healthcare facility clusters.
More than 10 brands were reported but EzriCare Artificial Tears Eye Drops were most commonly used by the group.
“Use of contaminated artificial tears can result in the risk of eye infections that could result in blindness,” the FDA wrote in a nationwide recall February statement.
If you’ve used EzriCare or Delsam Pharma’s artificial tears and haven’t had any adverse effects, the CDC doesn’t recommend you get tested. Instead, stop using the drops and monitor for these eye infection symptoms, according to the CDC:
Discharge from the eyes
Red eyes or eyelids
The sensation of something being in your eye
If you’re having problems that could be related to using either EzriCare or Delsam Pharma’s artificial tears products like eye discharge or sensitivity, seek medical attention. Then, let the FDA know by filling out a form or calling 800-332-1088.
I have a question about the eye drops recall
Questions regarding the recall should be directed to the distributors, according to the CDC.
Here are the contact details:
EzriCare: 518-738-7602 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Delsam Pharma: 866-826-1309 or email@example.com
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