Antiseptic wipes recalled after contamination

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A brand of Chinese-produced antiseptic wipes and swabs has been pulled from the market because of potential bacterial contamination. The bacteria, Bulkholderia cepacia, could prompt products liability cases if anyone who purchased the wipes became ill after using them.

DUKAL Corp., the company responsible for importing the product, recalled more than 4,000 cases of the wipes and swabs, which could cause people with existing health problems to suffer from illness or infection.

The company says the recall extends back to wipes that were sold as early as 2009. FDA officials had discovered the contamination during a port inspection of incoming products, some of which were from China. The organization has traced the bacterial contamination to a machine at the manufacturing plant, and the problem has since been remedied, according to company representatives.

DUKAL distributes a variety of medical products including bandages, wipes, tape and dressings. Most of their products are designed to be included in first aid kits, some of which are sent to individuals with existing health problems. The products are also available over the counter at a variety of retail outlets.

So far, no one has reported any illness because of the contaminated wipes, but a significant risk still faces individuals with compromised immune systems who use the items. Consumers are urged to check their first aid kits, discarding any DUKAL products that qualify under the recall.

This recall comes on the heels of another antiseptic wipe contamination scandal, in which two Midwestern companies were shut down for distributing medical items with Bacillus cereus. A 2-year-old boy reportedly died from an infection contracted from those wipes, and the company settled with his family out of court.

Two other recalls have occurred for different brands of sterile wipes, including a line of baby wipes sold through Wal-Mart and Winn Dixie. People who suspect that they have contracted an illness from a contaminated wipe should seek assistance from a qualified personal injury attorney. You could receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Source: NBC News, “Antiseptic wipes made in China pulled in U.S.,” JoNel Aleccia, Aug. 2, 2012