CDC: EzriCare Artificial Tears Eye Drops Linked to Drug-Resistant Bacterial Infections, Deaths, and Blindness Reported
On February 1, 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory concerning dangerous, life-threatening infections caused by drug-resistant variants of Guiana-Extended Spectrum-β-Lactamase (GES)-producing carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (VIM-GES-CRPA) and Verona Integron-mediated Metallo-β-lactamase (VIM) discovered in twelve U.S. states. Most of those who have been blinded, injured, or died from bacterial infections were reported using one of ten different brands of artificial tears. Some of those patients were using several brands. However, most of the injured patients were using EzriCare Artificial Tears, which is a preservative-free product bottled in multidose bottles.
If EzriCare Artificial Tears artificial eye drops have harmed you or a loved one, contact our national product liability law firm for your free consultation. For your free consultation, please use our live chat or call us at 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
Outbreak Linked to Bottle of EzriCare Artificial Tears
CDC laboratory testing pinpointed the precise outbreak strain in several opened EzriCare bottles of varying lot numbers. The samples were collected from two states. Healthcare providers and patients are urged to immediately stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears until further notice from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The CDC, in partnership with local and state health departments, has identified 55 patients in 12 states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin) who have the rare strain of drug-resistant bacteria, P. aeruginosa. Thirty-five of the patients were linked to outbreaks at four healthcare facilities. Patients suffered a variety of illnesses, including endophthalmitis, keratitis, respiratory infections, sepsis, and urinary tract infections. Some patients suffered permanent vision loss due to cornea infections, and one patient died due to systemic bacterial infection.
These outbreaks involve bacteria strains not previously found in the United States. The bacteria strains are not susceptible to antibiotic medications such as ceftazidime, cefiderocol, cefepime, piperacillin-tazobactam, aztreonam, fluoroquinolones, ceftazidime-avibactam, carbapenems, ceftolozane-tazobactam, amikacin, polymyxins, tobramycin or gentamicin.
The outbreak strain of VIM-GES-CRPA matches the VIM-GES-CRPA recovered from opened EzriCare Artificial Tears bottles. The CDC is trying to determine if bacterial contamination occurred during the manufacturing process or during patient use. The CDC has begun testing of unopened EzriCare Artificial Tears bottles to confirm whether or not the contamination occurred during manufacturing.
CDC Recommendations for the Public
- Stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears until further guidance is provided by the CDC and FDA.
- Follow up with your doctor concerning alternative artificial tears products.
- Patients who are using EzriCare Artificial Tears and have symptoms of an eye infection should seek timely medical care. Signs of an eye infection include red eyes, swelling, discharge from the eye, eye pain, redness of the eyelid, feeling of a foreign object in the eye, increased light sensitivity, and blurry vision.
If this product has injured you or a loved one, or if a loved one died as a result of using EzriCare Artificial Tears, contact Parker Waichman LLP for your free consultation.
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