Over-the-counter eye drops are a popular remedy for millions of consumers experiencing dryness, irritation, and other mild eye conditions. But recent recalls of several eye drop brands over fears of bacterial infections have left many wondering whether these products are safe and their potential consequences. At Alonso Krangle LLP, our experienced lawyers are committed to helping those affected by these recalls understand the situation and their legal rights. In this blog post, we dive deep into the current issues surrounding these eye drop recalls.
Read more about recalled eye drops and eye injuries.
Identifying the Recalled Eye Drop Brands
Several eye drop brands have been recalled due to contamination concerns, with possibly devastating health outcomes, including blindness. The following are the primary brands involved in these recalls:
- EzriCare and Delsam Pharma “Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops”
- Delsam Pharma “Artificial Eye Ointment”
- Apotex “Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution, 0.15%”
- Pharmedica “Purely Soothing, 15% MSM Drops”
These recalls were announced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after reporting numerous adverse reactions linked to eye drop contamination, including eye infections, permanent vision loss, and even death.
Unraveling How Contamination Occurred
The first indication of a problem with eye drops surfaced when a patient in Los Angeles County developed an eye infection caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Local health officials identified several more cases in the following months, with patients reporting severe eye inflammation and heavy yellow pus obscuring their pupil.
Over the course of the year, other states received multiple reports of drug-resistant Pseudomonas infections linked to over-the-counter eye drops. Investigations revealed that the same bacteria strain caused these infections in various locations, leading the CDC to advise doctors against recommending the EzriCare product, among others.
Assessing the Risks of Eye Drop Contamination
As of March 1, the CDC has identified a total of 64 patients across 13 states with Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections linked to artificial tears. Infections caused by this bacteria have resulted in eight reported cases of vision loss and one death. The eye drops primarily associated with these infections are from the EzriCare brand, although some patients also used multiple brands.
Eye drops can cause infections in other parts of the body, as they have a connection to the nasal cavity through the tear ducts, which allows germs to move into the lungs. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a naturally occurring bacteria in the environment, can spread to humans through contaminated water or soil.
According to the CDC, drug-resistant strains of this bacteria cause more than 30,000 infections annually among hospitalized patients in the U.S. and over 2,500 deaths.
Recognizing the Symptoms of an Eye Infection and Seeking Treatment
If you have used any of the recalled eye drops, it is crucial to watch for symptoms commonly associated with eye infections, which may include:
- Discharge from the eye
- Eye pain or discomfort
- Redness of the eye or eyelid
- Feeling something in the eye
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Blurry vision
Patients experiencing any of these symptoms should immediately contact a healthcare provider for evaluation and treatment. Those without symptoms do not need to undergo testing.
Legal Protection for Those Affected by Eye Drop Recalls
If you or a loved one has been adversely affected by using one of the contaminated eye drops, it is essential to understand your legal options. Our experienced legal team at Alonso Krangle LLP is here to help victims of these dangerous products seek compensation and justice for their suffering. We will work tirelessly to hold the responsible parties accountable and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact Alonso Krangle LLP for Assistance
Do not hesitate to reach out for legal help if you have experienced an eye infection or any other negative side effects related to the recalled eye drop products. Contact the law firm of Alonso Krangle LLP at (800) 403-6191 to discuss your case with our dedicated and experienced lawyers.