Will product liability claims arise from tainted cleansing foam?

Most stories surrounding patients contracting bacterial infections in hospitals seem to stem from unsanitary conditions such as a nurse failing to wash his or her hands between patients or an orderly failing to thoroughly disinfect a room. Few Ohio residents would think that a no-rinse, cleansing foam used for bathing patients after surgery would be a source of bacterial infections. Unfortunately, one such product has already led to infections and potential product liability claims.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently advised consumers and medical professionals to stop using a product called Remedy Essentials No-Rinse Cleansing Foam due to possible bacterial contamination. The foam is used for bathing patients after surgery. The problem is that certain lots of the product contain Burkholderia cepacia bacteria.

So far, 10 reports of infections due to the use of this product were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seven of the incidents occurred in Pennsylvania and one happened in New Jersey. The other two cases occurred in California. The combination of a compromised immune system and not rinsing the foam off the skin could easily lead to more infections in patients in other states, including some here in Ohio.

None of the 10 patients who contracted infections suffered serious harm, but that could change. The bacteria can live in disinfectants and does not respond to commonly used antibiotics. This could become problematic for some patients since it is possible to contract a serious respiratory infection from this bacterium. Those patients may be able to seek restitution through product liability claims.

Source: drugwatch.com, "Bacterial Outbreak Sparks Cleansing Foam Recall", Elaine Silvestrini and Kevin Connolly, May 16, 2018

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