Users of the Global Pharma Healthcare product EzriCare Artificial Tears have experienced eye infections that can be linked to the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It is a gram-negative bacteria that can cause severe infection and resist antibiotics, making it difficult to treat the infection once it takes hold.
There have been over fifty cases across the United States of EzriCare eye drop users suffering eye infections. This has led Global Pharma Healthcare to recall the Artificial Tears product and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to launch a joint investigation into carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA) caused by using the EzriCare product.
What is Pseudomonas Aeruginosa?
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a type of bacteria commonly found in the environment that can invade the body and cause infections of the blood, lungs, eyes, and other body parts. This type of bacteria thrives in water, which can explain why it commonly causes eye infections like conjunctivitis, keratitis, and endophthalmitis.
Exposure to this dangerous bacteria can cause a person to suffer from carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA), a bacterial infection resistant to antibiotics. Users of the over-the-counter eye drop product EzriCare Artificial Tears have contracted eye infections due to exposure to Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Severe eye infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa can result in life-altering complications that reduce a person’s quality of life.
The following are some of the symptoms associated with carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa eye infections:
- Blurry vision
- Vision loss
- Inflammation of the eye
- Severe eye pain
- Sensitivity to light
- Yellow, green, or clear discharge coming from the eye
- Foreign body sensation (feeling like something is in your eye)
Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Infections Resistant to Antibiotics
The complicated part about carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa is that this type of infection is resistant to antibiotics. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a gram-negative bacteria with a thick outer membrane in its cell wall that helps it resist traditional antibiotics. It also can form biofilms, which are communities of bacteria that form a protective matrix to evade the immune system and resist antibiotics.
When traditional antibiotics are ineffective in treating an infection, most healthcare providers will use carbapenems, a stronger class of drug used to treat gram-negative bacterial infections. However, these bacteria that cause eye infections also resist carbapenems, making treatment much more difficult. Some treatment methods for healing eye infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa include intravenous antibiotics, combination therapy, surgery, and draining or removing infected tissue.
Using EzriCare Eye Drops Can Expose Consumers to Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Risk
EzriCare Artificial Tears is an over-the-counter eye drop product that can treat dry eyes. They are preservative-free eye drops that use the lubricating ingredient carboxymethylcellulose sodium to moisturize the eyes and prevent further irritation. However, recent developments have indicated that EzriCare Artificial Tears usage could cause consumers to be exposed to Pseudomonas aeruginosa and contract antibiotic-resistant eye infections.
In May 2022, the first instance of an eye infection linked back to EzriCare eye drops was reported to the CDC. Since that first instance, there have been over 50 reports of severe infection in eleven states across the U.S. The Center for Disease Control issued a statement on January 23rd, 2023, indicating that consumers should stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears due to the connection to Pseudomonas aeruginosa exposure. A joint investigation by the CDC and Federal Drug Administration (FDA), alongside state and local health departments, seeks to find information about the Pseudomonas aeruginosa contamination of EzriCare Artificial Tears.
Testing found that opened bottles of EzriCare eye drops contained a specific strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa called Verona Integron-mediated Metallo-β-lactamase (VIM) and Guiana-Extended Spectrum-β-Lactamase (GES)-producing carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (VIM-GES-CRPA). It’s so rare that the CDC has never seen it in the United States before. Dangers associated with the product led to the manufacturer, Global Pharma Healthcare, issuing a national recall of EzriCare Artificial Tears in the U.S.
How Can Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Affect a Person’s Life?
Pseudomonas aeruginosa negatively affects your quality of life because of the effect vision loss can have. If a person suffers vision loss due to an eye infection, they will not be able to do much of what they could have before, including driving, working, going for a walk, watching television, etc. They will have to live their life with the assistance of a loved one or medical assistant. This can hurt their self-esteem, as they may become anxious or depressed due to their lack of individual agency.
Bacterial infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa in EzriCare eye drops can also cause a number of other health issues, such as sepsis, organ failure, brain damage, and tissue damage. Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections can cause major damage to your vital organs, which could lead to long-term health complications or death.
Damages Caused by Pseudomonas Aeruginosa
An eye infection caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa exposure through using EzriCare Artificial Tears can cause significant damages that can affect your financial situation and quality of life. You will likely have to pay for expensive medical bills as you pursue treatments for your eye infection. Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause partial or full vision loss, affecting whether you can work and earn wages. Pseudomonas aeruginosa eye infections can also negatively affect your quality of life, as you can suffer psychological effects due to your eye infection.
You can pursue compensation for both economic and non-economic damages caused by EzriCare Artificial Tears by filing a product liability lawsuit with Global Pharma Healthcare. The following are some of the damages you could pursue for a Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection caused by using EzriCare eye drop products:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Funeral and burial costs
Filing an EzriCare Eye Drops Lawsuit
On February 9th, a Florida woman named Teresa Phillips filed the first nationwide lawsuit over injuries caused by EzriCare Artificial Tears due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida and named Wal-Mart and Global Pharma Healthcare as defendants. Phillips purchased and used EzriCare Artificial Tears weeks before her eye infection, which required surgery to remedy some (but not all) issues related to the eye infection.
Teresa Palmer is the first of possibly many eye infection victims looking to hold Global Pharma Healthcare accountable for their dangerous product contaminated by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. If you suffered an eye infection after using EzriCare Artificial Tears, you could file a product liability lawsuit to hold the manufacturer of the product accountable for their negligence that led to your eye infection and damages.