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W&L Investigating Recalled Contaminated Eye Drops Due to Blindness and Death

March 27, 2023
Home Firm News W&L Investigating Recalled Contaminated Eye Drops Due to Blindness and Death

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Weitz & Luxenberg is investigating claims that using EzriCare Artificial Tears or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears can lead to blindness or death. The manufacturer, Global Pharma Healthcare Primary Limited, voluntarily recalled these over-the-counter products because of potentially debilitating, even life-threatening complications. (1) (2)

“These are not prescription medications,” says attorney Ellen Relkin, W&L partner and practice group chair of our firm’s Drug and Medical Device Litigation unit. “You can purchase these seemingly mild medications without prescriptions in pharmacies nationwide. They are supposed to be sterile. You expect them to be safe.”

Eye Drops Contaminated with Bacteria

“These particular eye drops may be contaminated with highly dangerous bacteria. The potential for extremely severe complications to your health is very real,” Ms. Relkin continues.

“The particular strain of bacteria found in these products is nothing to take lightly. This strain is highly resistant to some of the most powerful antibiotics out there. Infection can spread to your lungs, your blood, and throughout your body,” Ms. Relkin emphasizes. “The dangers can be life-threatening.”

In fact, “This strain of the bacteria had never been identified in the United States before the current outbreak and is resistant to a class of antibiotics called carbapenems.” Carbapenems are “generally considered a last resort.” (3)

FDA Warns of Contamination

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warns consumers to stop using these products immediately. And not to purchase any more of these products. EzriCare Artificial Tears and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears may be contaminated with a type of bacteria resistant to antibiotics. (4) (5)

If you have recently used these products and developed any potential signs or symptoms of an infection, you should seek immediate medical care. It is very important to talk to your health care provider. (6)

Bacteria from Eye Drops Causing Blindness and Death

Drug-resistant bacterial infections are nothing to take lightly. When you do not respond to antibiotics, those infections can spread to other parts of your body. The potential for significant medical complications is very real.

The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have teamed up with state and local health departments across the country to investigate a concerning multistate outbreak of a rare strain of bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This bacteria strain is “extensively drug-resistant.” (7)

As of the end of January 2023, the CDC had “identified 55 patients in 12 states with infections that have been linked by epidemiologic and laboratory evidence to use of EzriCare Artificial Tears.” Consumers who have used these products have reported multiple adverse events, including: (8)

  • Death due to bloodstream infection.
  • Blindness and permanent vision loss from eye infections.
  • Hospitalization.

The CDC also warns consumers to stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears until more information and guidance become available. (9)

Drug-Resistant Infections Kill Thousands Each Year

The CDC has been collecting information about the spread of the potentially contaminated eye drops. They have “found the drug-resistant bacteria strain in opened bottles of the EzriCare eye drops collected from patients with and without eye infections.” (10)

The CDC “is testing unopened bottles to determine if contamination occurred during the manufacturing process.” The agency has found the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria across the country between May of 2022 and January 2023. This includes the states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. (11)

In the United States alone, nearly 30,000 people died from drug-resistant infections in 2020. Globally, more than 700,000 people die from these types of infections every year. (12)

Weitz & Luxenberg Is Investigating Injury Cases

If you used EzriCare Artificial Tears or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears and developed a serious infection or blindness, or a loved one died, we invite you to contact us for more information at (833) 977-3437.

Our attorneys are reviewing cases of people harmed by this eye drops. Reach out to us you developed an infection that did not respond to antibiotics and caused you to suffer vision loss, other types of impairment, or even death.

At Weitz & Luxenberg, our team of attorneys handling defective drugs and devices is prepared to take on large, national corporations. We can help you consider your legal options and provide further guidance. You may be entitled to sue for compensation.

Since the mid-1980s, we have secured more than $19 billion dollars on behalf of our clients who suffered serious injuries due to the actions or of others.

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