The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning telling consumers to stop using and properly dispose of several types of eyedrops and related products because of serious infection risks. This includes possible bacterial and fungal contamination.
These eye drop products have been linked to antibiotic-resistant systemic infections, vision loss, and death. Several lawsuits are already underway against the manufacturers of these products. If you developed an infection or have other serious concerns, you can speak to a mass torts lawyer about your legal options for free.
What You Need to Know About the Eye Drop Recall and Infection Risk
The list of recalled eye drops includes:
- EzriCare Artificial Tears, contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears, contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Eye Ointment, contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Berne’s MSM Drops 5% Solution, contaminated with Exophiala fungi
- LightEyez MSM Eye Drops Eye Repair, contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Mycobacterium, Mycolicibacterium, and Methylorubrum
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa was found in specimens of numerous eye drop products collected between May 2022 and April 2023. As of May 2023, 81 people had been diagnosed with a serious infection related to this type of bacteria. Four had died from the infection. Most had used EzriCare Artificial Tears products.
The CDC has identified more than ten brands of ophthalmic drugs they link to these cases. The FDA warned consumers to stop using Artificial Tears in February 2023, and several other brands have since been recalled.
The CDC has confirmed there was a matching strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in opened bottles of these eye drop products and testing results of unopened bottles are forthcoming. This should determine if contamination occurred during manufacturing or if there is another issue occurring.
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What Injuries Occurred Because of the Recalled Eyedrops?
The injuries occurring because of this antibiotic-resistant bacteria strain are serious. The infection can become systemic quickly and does not always affect the eye. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “using contaminated eye drops could result in minor to serious vision-threatening infection which could possibly progress to a life-threatening infection.”
The early symptoms often reported by patients who develop this type of bacterial infection include:
- Redness of the eye or eyelid
- Discharge from the eye, often green or yellow
- Blurry vision
- Eye pain
- Sensitivity to light
While this seems like a relatively minor eye irritation or infection, this strain does not respond to most medications and can spread to other body parts. This includes the bloodstream. In May 2023, the CDC reported four deaths related to these infections. In addition, 14 people reported vision loss, and four underwent a procedure known as enucleation. This is the surgical removal of the eyeball.
The deaths and eye removal seem to be directly linked to the contaminated eye drop products since all patients said they used one of the affected products, and the same strain of bacteria was found in the bottles.
What Is the Current Status of Lawsuits Based on Eye Drop Infections?
Several people have already filed lawsuits against eye drop manufacturers related to these infections. This includes those who suffered no lasting effects, those who suffered vision loss, and those who underwent surgery for treatment. Families of those who passed away are also eligible to take legal action in these cases.
As of October 2023, these lawsuits are still in their earliest stages, and many more are likely. There is no way to know how they may proceed. The U.S. Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) may consolidate them into an MDL if there are enough claimants.
Multidistrict litigation is common in defective drug cases. An MDL allows the plaintiffs to work together to build a strong case against the pharmaceutical company or companies. They manage pretrial motions, discovery, and the initial bellwether cases as one. Often, these cases lead to tiered or global settlement offers.
What Should You do If You Develop an Infection After Using These Eye Drops?
There are likely additional patients who developed eye infections or became ill after using the eye drops in the recall. If you require additional medical care for an infection and believe you used any of the recalled eye drop products, you could join the consumers who have already filed lawsuits against the manufacturers.
It may be possible to hold the manufacturers accountable and recover damages that include:
- Current and future related medical care costs
- Income losses
- Diminished earning capacity
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
You May Want to Hire an Attorney for Guidance in Your Serious Eye Infection Case
Our defective drug attorneys know how to build a compelling case against these pharmaceutical companies for the injuries, pain, and vision loss they caused. We help our clients develop a strong argument for fair compensation when a medication manufacturer fails to protect them from preventable injuries. You could receive compensation for any of the adverse events that arose in your life because of a defective drug.
We also represent families who lost loved ones to serious infections and complications related to defective drugs. If your parent, spouse, or child died from an infection possibly linked to Pseudomonas aeruginosa and contaminated eye drop products, we are here for you. The Van Law team can review your case facts and help you pursue justice for your loved one.
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Discuss Your Options With a Defective Drug Attorney for Free Today
You can speak to a representative from Van Law who is familiar with these cases for free today. We provide free initial consultations for those hurt by defective drugs and medical devices. Our law firm can assess your case and explain how we can help you hold the pharmaceutical company accountable.
Contact us now online or via phone to get started with your free initial consultation. Our expert legal team is standing by, waiting for your call, so don’t hesitate! We’re here to help you earn the compensation you deserve!
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