Anytime we have blood drawn or any invasive procedure at a laboratory or hospital, alcohol wipes are used on our bodies. We generally don’t give it a second thought. We expect everything to be clean and sterile in a hospital setting, but lately we are learning this is not always the case. Contaminated alcohol wipes have contributed to infection and deaths in hospitals. Some confirmed and probably many we will never know about.
Contaminated alcohol wipes have been determined to be the cause of infections and deaths in people with immune deficiencies and possibly others. The wipes are manufactured by two Wisconsin based companies, H&P Industries and Triad Group. Both companies are owned by the same people. The companies also distribute nasal sprays, vaginal lubricants and other products. The surprising fact is that the Food and Drug Administration has been aware of this companies contaminated products since 2009 and has done nothing to stop production. According to a news report by MSNBC, the agency didn’t consider it to be a health threat.
Their opinion changed when a young boy underwent brain surgery in a Houston Hospital and a bacterial infection took over his body and killed him. The child’s parents have now filed suit against the Triad group after learning contaminated wipes had been used on their son. A child with leukemia being treated in a Colorado hospital was also investigated when he contacted a life threatening infection. The Centers for Disease Control concluded that contaminated wipes from this company were used on both children. Bacillus cereus and other bacteria were found on the wipes.
The FDA sized millions of dollars worth of products from the manufacturing plant, after asking them to stop shipping the products. I wonder how many of us have these alcohol wipes in our medicine cabinets. I checked mine and don’t see these company names on the packaging. I know I will remember H&P and Triad when I buy alcohol wipes next. The next thing to worry about is how many other companies are selling contaminated wipes. On second thought I might just use my own alcohol next time.
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