The American Academy of Ophthalmology sent an email on January 20, 2023 to its membership telling ophthalmologists to stop the use of EzriCare artificial tears. This was because there was suspected contamination with a very dangerous bacteria. This bacteria is an antibiotic-resistant Pseudomonas species, which is notoriously very difficult to treat. There is an investigation that is ongoing to take a look at the group of infections that were caused from these artificial tear drops. This investigation is being led by the CDC (Center For Disease Control).
Ezricare Eye Drop: States Affected
There is a possibility that these eye drops are linked to eye infections that could be causing vision loss. Additionally, there is one case in which death has been reported due to a blood stream infection. There are 50 cases being investigated across 11 different states. These states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Washington. 38 of the 50 cases are from the same 4 facilities.
The reason this recall is very concerning is due to the virulent nature of the bacteria implicated in the contamination. Lab testing of EzriCare Artificial Tears showed the presence of VIM‐CRPA bacteria in opened EzriCare bottles.The bacteria appear to be resistant to a drug called carbapenem, and are also resistant to other powerful antibiotics called ceftazidime and cefepime.
If you are using Ezricare eye drops or Ezricare artificial tears, stop using them immediately. Contact an ophthalmologist for an eye exam if you are unsure if you have had exposure and want to have a complete eye exam.