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Posted in Our Blog,Outbreaks & Recalls on February 1, 2023
UPDATE: The Lange Law Firm PLLC has filed the first personal injury lawsuits on behalf of those who suffered infection as a result of using EzriCare Eyedrops. The lawsuits were filed in New Jersey and Florida.
The Lange Law Firm has filed federal lawsuits in Florida and New Jersey. The lawsuits allege that the Defendants sold EzriCare Artificial Tears eye drops that were contaminated and adulterated with a dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. One client’s eye became infected after using EzriCare Artificial Tears. Another client suffers eye infections and the bacterial infection caused a severe rash covering much of her body.
The lawsuits allege strict products liability, breach of warranty, negligence, and negligence per se. Basically, the defendants sold, manufactured, packaged, labelled, marketed, and/or advertised their product to our clients. Their product was adulterated because it was contaminated with pseudomonas aeruginosa. Because it was adulterated, it is unsafe for human use and is dangerous, leading to injury and possibly even death. Our clients purchased their product, used it, and now are injured from using it.
Below, you can view copies of the filings.
The CDC reports this week that they are investigating a multi-state cluster of illnesses associated with multiple different infection types, including eye infections. As of January 20, 50 people across 11 states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Washington) had tested positive for the bacterium, called Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Recent epidemiology and laboratory evidence link these infections to use of EzriCare Artificial Tears.
Here is everything we know about this EzriCare Eyedrops Infection outbreak:
From May 17, 2022, to January 19, 2023, CDC, in partnership with state and local health departments, identified 56 isolates from 50 case patients from 11 states (CA, CO, CT, FL, NJ, NM, NY, NV, TX, UT, WA) with VIM-GES-CRPA; 38 cases are part of 4 facility clusters. Dates of specimen collection are from May to December 2022. Isolates have been identified from clinical cultures of cornea (10), sputum or bronchial wash (11), urine (6), other nonsterile sources (4), and blood (2), and from rectal swabs (23) collected for surveillance. These specimens were collected in both outpatient and inpatient healthcare settings. Patient outcomes include permanent vision loss resulting from ocular infection, hospitalization, and death of one patient with bloodstream infection.
Review of common exposures among patients identified that the majority of patients used artificial tears prior to identification of VIM-GES-CRPA infection or colonization. The most common brand reported was EzriCare Artificial Tears, a preservative-free product dispensed in multidose bottles. The “majority” of patients with positive samples told the CDC that they had used eye drops prior to testing, and the most commonly mentioned brand was EzriCare Artificial Tears. The CDC said that samples were taken from patients in hospitals and outpatient clinics between May 2022 and December 2022.
Laboratory testing of EzriCare Artificial Tears by CDC identified the presence of VIM-CRPA in opened EzriCare bottles; these VIM-CRPA are undergoing further characterization, including testing for GES and to determine ST, to assess if they match the outbreak strain. Testing of unopened bottles of EzriCare Artificial Tears is ongoing.
People should “immediately” stop using eye drops that may be linked to drug-resistant infections, the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention said.
The recommendation is a precaution after “permanent vision loss” resulting from an eye infection was reported and one person died from a bloodstream infection, the CDC said. The patients tested positive for a multi-drug resistant bacterium.
Pseudomonas are bacteria found commonly in the environment, like in soil and in water. Of the many different types of Pseudomonas, the one that most often causes infections in humans is called Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause infections in the blood, lungs (pneumonia), or other parts of the body after surgery.
These bacteria are constantly finding new ways to avoid the effects of the antibiotics used to treat the infections they cause. Antibiotic resistance occurs when the germs no longer respond to the antibiotics designed to kill them. If they develop resistance to several types of antibiotics, these germs can become multidrug-resistant (like what we are seeing here).
Pseudomonas aeruginosa live in the environment and can be spread to people in healthcare settings when they are exposed to water or soil that is contaminated with these germs. Resistant strains of the germ can also spread in healthcare settings from one person to another through contaminated hands, equipment, or surfaces.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections are generally treated with antibiotics. Unfortunately, in people exposed to healthcare settings like hospitals or nursing homes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections are becoming more difficult to treat because of increasing antibiotic resistance.
To identify the best antibiotic to treat a specific infection, healthcare providers will send a specimen (often called a culture) to the laboratory and test any bacteria that grow against a set of antibiotics to determine which are active against the germ. The provider will then select an antibiotic based on the activity of the antibiotic and other factors, like potential side effects or interactions with other drugs. For some multidrug-resistant types of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, treatment options might be limited.
Our mission is to help families who have been harmed by contaminated products. When corporations cause disease outbreaks, we use the law to hold them accountable.
If you have become infected with a EzriCare Eyedrops Infection and are interested in making a legal claim for compensation, The Lange Law Firm, PLLC can help. Our Lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your infection. Call us for a free no obligation legal consultation at (833) 330-3663 or send us an e-mail here.