Dangerous eye drops – level 3
US health officials have reported that drug-resistant bacterial contamination in eye drops may have caused the death of one person and severe injuries to several others.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified 68 patients in 16 states with a rare strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, previously unseen in the US. Most of the affected patients had used eye drops and artificial tears, leading to a recall of specific brands, including EzriCare and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears, imported from India. Testing showed bacterial contamination in opened bottles from patients, prompting warnings and voluntary recalls. A woman in Florida sued the drug company after losing an eye due to an infection caused by their product.
The CDC advised people using the recalled products and experiencing symptoms to seek medical attention. Symptoms include yellow, green, or clear discharge from the eye, discomfort or pain, redness, blurry vision, and increase sensitivity to light. Eye drops and eyewash products were used by approximately 117 million Americans in 2020, according to a market research firm.
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What advice can the CDC provide for people who use eye drops and artificial tears to reduce their risk of infection?
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