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Tainted Eye Drops: Creating More Problems Than the Eyes Can See

May 30, 2023 | 4 min read

A bacterial infection outbreak caused by contaminated eye drops appears to be spreading. In June 2022, the first case of bacterial infection associated with tainted eye drops was reported in the state of Connecticut. Within days of the initial report, bacterial infections were found in 25 patients spread across the state in five different nursing homes. Unfortunately, the issue did not stop there. In August 2022, six more cases were reported. Following an investigation, the CDC established a link between the outbreak and certain types of eye drops.

Ultimately, in February 2023, eye drop manufacturer Global Pharma issued a recall of their Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops, distributed by EzriCare, LLC and Delsam Pharma. It was revealed that these Global Pharma, EzriCare, and Delsam eye drops were found to be contaminated with a dangerous drug-resistant bacteria. 

Between May 2022 through early 2023, more than 50 people nationwide have reported experiencing problems – including blindness and death – after using these eye drops. Unfortunately, it is looking as though we can expect problems associated with the use of these eye drops to continue to spread across the country. 

What Is Causing the Problems?

Investigations have revealed that the contaminated eye drops can cause the bacterial infection pseudomonas aeruginosa. This is a serious eye infection that requires immediate medical care. It has symptoms that include discharge from the eye, eye pain, and much more. Prior to this outbreak, this particular strain of bacteria had never been seen in the United States.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is incredibly dangerous because it has the unique ability to form biofilms, which are complex communities of bacteria. 

Another major concern with p. aeruginosa is that it has the ability to infect various tissues and organs, including the respiratory tract, urinary tract, skin, soft tissues, and bloodstream, while producing toxins and enzymes that can contribute to tissue damage and evasion of the immune system. 

Moreover, it has the natural ability to develop resistance to multiple antibiotics, which can make treating a person who has been infected quite difficult.

What Eye Drops Have Been Recalled?

There are several eye drop brands that have been recalled in recent months as a result of this outbreak. These include:

  • Delsam Pharma Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops 
  • Delsam Pharma Artificial Eye Ointment

Signs of an Infection from Tainted Eye Drops

Individuals who have been infected by this rare bacterium may experience various symptoms. These include:

  • Yellow, clear, or green discharge from the eye
  • Eye pain
  • Eye discomfort
  • Redness of the eye 
  • Redness of the eyelid
  • Feeling like something is in the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light

Unfortunately, reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that, so far, at least four people have died due to bacterial infections associated with these eye drops. 

What to Do if You Get Infected by Contaminated Eye Drops

Despite the recall, doctors across the nation worry that many people are continuing to use the eye drops. If you experience any problems as a result of using eye drops, it is important that you seek medical help right away. If a bacterial infection is not treated quickly, it can have life-threatening consequences.

What can I do legally if I get an infection or my loved one dies due to an eye drop-related infection?

If you suffer a serious infection or you have lost a loved one as a result of a serious infection due to the use of eye drops, you may have legal options available. A product liability lawyer can help you pursue justice.

When you contact a products liability attorney, you will have to answer various questions to see if you are entitled to compensation. Some of the questions that you may be asked include:

  • What were the eye drops that you used?
  • When and how often did you use the eye drops?
  • When were you diagnosed with an eye condition or a health condition related to a pseudomonas aeruginosa infection? 
  • What was your diagnosis?
  • Who diagnosed your condition?

Providing supporting documents, including your medical records, is important when it comes to building your case. Your defective product attorney will use this information to verify that you have a valid claim. The amount of compensation that you can recover will be dependent upon the damages that you have suffered and various other factors. It is important that you seek help from our skilled product liability lawyers right away.

Let Our Team Help You

If you think that you may have a potential claim concerning the use of tainted eye drops, it is important that you reach out to our team at Burg Simpson. Our product liability lawyers provide free, no-obligation case evaluations. We handle cases on a contingency basis, so our fees are never upfront. To discover what your options may be regarding a possible eye drops claim, get in touch with us today by calling 888-895-2080.