Following reports of fungal eye infections that appear to be related to the product, Bausch & Lomb has asked retailers to temporarily suspend sales of ReNu with MoistureLoc contact lens cleaning solution. The company had originally refused to recall the product, saying that products already shipped could be sold, but under pressure from retailers and threat of further liability, the company has asked retailers to remove the product from their shelves.
Following initial reporting of the suspected link between their ReNu product and the infection,Bausch & Lomb had agreed to suspend shipment, but stopped short of initiating a recall of the product. However, retailers such as WalMart, Walgreen’s, and CVS voluntarily removed the products from their shelves. In a case of product liability, Bausch & Lomb agreed late Wednesday to suspend sales of the product while the investigation into the possible link is conducted.
Federal health officials became aware of the problem in early March 2006, when an opthalmologist in New Jersey alerted the Centers for Disease Control that he had treated three patients for the usually rare infection, Fusarium keratitis, in a three month period. In the course of the ensuing investigation, inspectors from the federal Food and Drug Administration have reported an increase in reported cases of Fusarium keratitis across the United States. The investigation is ongoing.
Fusarium keratitis is a potentially serious condition in which the cornea can become irreparably damaged by the introduction of the fungus fusarium. While investigators have not yet located a source for the fungus, the correlation between use of Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu lens cleaner is strong enough that people are asked to suspend their use of the harmful productimmediately to avoid exposure.
On April 12, a New York man filed suit in Manhattan courts claiming that Bausch & Lomb was aware of the potential danger as early as February, when shipments of their products to Hong Kong and Singapore were suspended in response to an outbreak of fusarium keratitis there. The suit also requests that class-action status be granted.
Early symptoms of fusarium keratitis include a feeling that there is something in your eye, pain in the eye, hypersensitivity to light, and a decrease in vision. If left untreated, the symptoms will progress, becoming extremely painful as the infection spreads and causes further damage to the eye. If left untreated, the condition can cause corneal ulcers, damage to the corneal tissue, and development of scarring in the eye. This can lead to decreased vision and even blindness.
Patients who are experiencing one or more of the symptoms of keratitis, particularly those who have recently used Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu lens cleaner products, are encouraged to see their eye doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment, and are also encouraged to receive judicial aid forproduct liability.
Treatment for fungal keratitis may include an extended course of antifungal drug therapy to eliminate the infection, and for more advanced cases, in which ulcers and lesions have formed inside the eye, surgical correction may be necessary. If you or someone you know has been injured due to a defective product, feel free to contact a personal injury lawyer such asPomerantz, Perlberger and Lewis of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Clyde Stipe in Tulsa, Oklahoma or Peter Angelos in Baltimore, Maryland.