This is starting to feel like a pattern… here we are again, coming to you with yet another recall stemming from a drug manufacturer’s failures. But this particular event is even more terrifying and infuriating than the last because it involves some of America’s most vulnerable and sensitive citizens: infants, toddlers, and children.
• Big Pharma’s blunder this time includes several dozen nasal sprays and oral gel products created to help parents deal with issues like teething, common colds, and other respiratory and oral symptoms. All of the products come from Quest Manufacturing, one of CVS’s main in-house brands.
• The full list of involved lot numbers (available here) is far, far too long to be listed here, which just goes to show you how irresponsible Quest was. But what we have to tell you next will make this news even more shocking.
• This time, it wasn’t an errant allergen, incorrect dose, or even a carcinogen that caused the recall. Instead, it was a gram-negative pathogen called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Yes, you read that right – CVS’s drugs contained an actual bacteria that could make children sick.
• Pseudomonas aeruginosa doesn’t normally affect most patients negatively; in healthy patients, the immune system typically fights it off just fine before it can colonize. However, we do know that the germ has a nasty propensity for colonizing the nasal and respiratory tracts of the immunocompromised, a group in which children, babies, and infants especially may be included.
• According to one environmental group, the germ can cause seriously terrifying side effects if and when it does colonize. These illnesses include urinary infections, upper and lower respiratory infections, skin and soft tissue infections, bone infections, joint infections, gastroenteritis, and systemic septicemia. The risk for these potentially deadly infections is especially high in infants, who may lack the immune system to fight the germ off.
• Because this medication was purchased so widely, it is very likely that either you or another parent you know recently purchased these medications, especially if you use your local CVS. Please share this information and help us ensure that no child is injured as a result of this absolute negligence on the part of Quest Manufacturing.
• If you think you may be affected, reach out to a doctor or pharmacist immediately for advice – especially if your child is already sick with cold or flu-like symptoms. Early treatment is critical for Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections and can dramatically reduce mortality rates.