Bacteria Contaminates Hospital Mouthwash

Earlier this month, I told you about the horror story surrounding the accidental use of hydraulic fluid to clean surgical instruments at two Duke University hospitals and how it harmed the health of at least 50 patients treated there. File this one away in that same folder...

A Texas company has recalled its line of Medline-labeled, alcohol-free mouthwashes and hygiene kits used in hospitals, medical centers and long-term care centers. Nothing unusual, except the mouthwash was contaminated with Burkholderia cepacia (B. cepacia). Patients with weakened immune systems or chronic lung diseases (particularly cystic fibrosis) who are exposed to this bacteria may be more susceptible to infections.

Even worse, the B. cepacia bacteria are often resistant to common antibiotics. These products were subsequently pulled after illnesses were reported in Texas and Florida hospitals.

I post accounts like these often, just to remind you how mistakes committed in hospitals contribute to the number of needless and preventable deaths each year in this country.

WLTX-TV August 29, 2005

Newsinferno.com August 27, 2005

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