The first news of some problem with the Sierra prefilled Heparin syringes appears to have come out on December 17, 2007. Today a voluntary recall was announced. This is a little late for those already hospitalized with serious infections. While is hope that these infections will be treatable with antibiotics, the risks of nerve damage and other complications are still looming. Medical products don’t get tainted by bacterial agents unless there is some negligence on the part of the manufacturer or supplier. Also, strict liability law will apply in most states for injuries from a tainted product.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury from these recalled syringes, please send me an email. We are speaking later today with one person who is still in the hospital and the more we learn, the more we can do to help.
Contaminated Syringes Linked to Blood Infections
U.S. health authorities are investigating a suspected link between bacteria-contaminated syringes and blood infections in 40 people in Illinois and Texas, including 20 outpatients from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, the Associated Press reported. There have been no deaths.
Earlier this month, Rush doctors traced the infections to heparin-filled syringes used during home treatment for cancer and other health problems. Heparin is a blood thinner. The heparin-filled syringes were from a single batch produced by Sierra Pre-Filled of Angier, N.C., the AP said.
Syringes from that same batch were also sent to Colorado, Florida and Pennsylvania, but no infections have been reported in those states, said Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the AP reported.
The infections, caused by bacteria called Serratia marcescens, can cause fever and chills. While such infections can be serious, they generally respond well to antibiotics.
Sierra Pre-Filled has recalled the affected batch of syringes and is cooperating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the investigation, the AP reported. Doctors are being alerted about the contaminated syringes and asked to watch for cases of infection.