The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that a fourth death has been linked to recalled artificial tears made by EzriCare and Delsam Pharma, with cases involving the extensively drug-resistant bacteria growing to 81 across 18 states.

The outbreak strain, carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa with Verona integron-mediated metallo-β-lactamase and Guiana extended-spectrum-β-lactamase (VIM-GES-CRPA), had never been reported in the United States prior to this outbreak.

CDC and FDA recommend clinicians and patients stop using and discard EzriCare Artificial Tears and two additional products made by the same manufacturer, Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears, and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Ointment.

Adverse outcomes that were associated with clinical (non-surveillance) cultures and reported to public health include 14 patients with vision loss, an additional 4 patients with enucleation (surgical removal of eyeball), and 4 deaths within 30 days of VIM-GES-CRPA clinical culture collection.

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Lori Mills

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