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Recalled Alcohol Pads & Swabs from Drugstores and Medical Supply Could Cause Fatal Infections

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January 6, 2011

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today a recall of certain alcohol prep pads, alcohol swabs and alcohol swabsticks because of potential bacterial contamination.

Triad Group, a manufacturer of over the counter products is voluntarily recalling all lots, including both sterile and non-sterile, of alcohol prep pads, alcohol swabs and alcohol swabsticks because they may be contaminated with a bacteria called Bacillus cereus. These products are for disinfecting the skin before injections.

Bacillus cereus is a bacterium most often associated with food borne illnesses. However, it can cause serious and chronic skin infections. These infections can be life threatening in people with compromised immune systems such as surgical patients, cancer patients, HIV patients, infants and the elderly.

The manufacturer has received one report of a non-life threatening skin infection related to these products.

Triad Group manufactures the affected products, but labels them for third party retailers including Cardinal Health, PSS Select, VersaPro, Boca/ Ultilet, Moore Medical, Conzellin and the major drugstores Walgreens and CVS. Triad Group distributed the alcohol prep pads, alcohol swabs and alcohol swabsticks nationwide, packaged in individual packets and sold in retail pharmacies in a box of 100 packets.

Consumers should return recalled products to the retailer for a full refund or call Triad Group Customer Service at 262-538-2900 with any questions.

Consumers and physicians should report all adverse events from these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Program at http://www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm or by calling call 1-800-332-1088.

1 Comment

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  1. gw says:
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    It’s funny, but I can’t find any news agency that is questioning why an alcohol pad (which is used to disinfect!) could be contaminated with bacteria. Alcohol pads are used in hospitals every day to clean surfaces before injections and starting IVs. Every nurse I have come across uses alcohol pads to start IVs when the disinfectant in the IV start kit becomes dry. This practice (if alcohol pads can carry bacteria)could result in serious systemic infections. We have either been lied to about the capabilities of alcohol or there was not alcohol in the pads. Someone, somewhere, needs to be a little more inquisitive about this!