Global Pharma Healthcare, a pharmaceutical company based in Tamilnadu, India, is the manufacturer of EzriCare Artificial Tears, a product that has recently been linked to outbreaks of Pseudomonas aeruginosa—a bacteria resistant to standard antibiotics—in hospitals across several states in the US.
The CDC recently cautioned the public to avoid two brands, EzriCare Artificial Tears and Desalm Pharma’s Artificial Tears and Ointment, after analyzing contaminated bottles belonging to already infected patients. Symptoms of such eye infections include yellow, green or clear discharge from eyes; pain or discomfort in eyes; redness of the eye/eyelid area; feeling as if an object is inside your eye (foreign body sensation); heightened sensitivity to light exposure; and blurred vision.
Three people have died after using infected eyedrops from Global Pharma Healthcare and at least eight patients have lost their vision while four others required surgery to remove their eyes. One patient in particular, Clara Oliva, was forced to undergo enucleation (surgery to remove her right eye) due to the severity of her infection; this left her legally blind as she only had 20/200 visual acuity in her remaining left eye. Another patient experienced changes in her left eye before she eventually lost vision after using EzriCare Artificial Tears for about a week.
States where patients are experiencing infections after using the drops include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
These unfortunate cases all highlight the importance of seeking medical attention if you notice any symptoms related to an eye infection. It’s also important to be aware of any potential complications that may arise from using medication and products such as Artificial Tears in order to prevent any further harm from occurring.
The consequences relating to Global Pharma Healthcare’s products serves as a reminder for healthcare professionals and consumers alike that proper care must be taken when it comes to maintaining hygiene standards surrounding medical equipment and products used by patients.