Lawsuit Claims South Florida Woman Lost Eye After Using Recalled Eye Drops – NBC 6 South Florida

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A Miramar resident is taking legal action, alleging she lost an eye after using eye drops that have now been recalled due to possible bacterial contamination.

Clara Oliva said it’s very been difficult since she developed a painful infection in her right eye last year.

She said she spent a month trying to fight it with different treatments, antibiotics and even surgery. When that didn’t work, doctors had no choice but to remove the entire eye.

Oliva said she struggled to understand what happened — until she received a call in November from her clinic asking her to stop using the eye drops.

EzriCare eye drops were recently removed from the market due to possible bacterial contamination.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert, saying that its use “increases the risk of eye infections that can cause blindness or death.”

“It doesn’t contain preservatives, which are used to fight bacterial contamination of these products,” said Oliva’s attorney, Natasha Cortes.

According to the FDA, at least 55 adverse reactions have been reported nationwide, including eye infections, permanent vision loss, and even one death from a bloodstream infection. The tears were sold under the brand names EzriCare and Delsam Pharma.

Both the manufacturer and the distributor now have warnings on their pages — warnings that came too late for Oliva, who has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, the distributors and the medical center that sent her the drops as part of her healthcare plan.

Her attorney said she’s sharing her story to warn others.

“There’s likely many more people who have suffered infections who are unaware, like Ms. Oliva was,” Cortes said.

NBC 6 reached out to the manufacturer of these eye drops as well as the distributors and have not yet received a response. The medical center told NBC 6 they have not received notice of the lawsuit and have no comment at this time.

When the FDA issued its warning, EzriCare said they were not aware of any testing that definitely links the bacteria outbreak to its eye drops but they immediately took action to stop any further distribution or sale of EzriCare Artificial Tears.

The company went on to say “To the greatest extent possible, we have been contacting customers to advise them against continued use of the product. We also immediately reached out to both CDC and FDA and indicated our willingness to cooperate with any requests they have of us.”

These drops were sold without a prescription, so health authorities urge anyone who has them to stop using them right away.

Lawsuit Claims South Florida Woman Lost Eye After Using Recalled Eye Drops – NBC 6 South Florida

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