Lawsuit claims contaminated wipes lead to Houston child’s death

In January, a Midwest manufacturer of alcohol wipes and swabs recalled all of it alcohol prep products due to potential contamination by a bacteria called Bacillus cereus. The bacteria can cause acute bacterial meningitis. The notice of the recall of this dangerous product appeared on the Food and Drug Administration website on January 5th. One month before the recall, a two-year-old boy died in Houston’s Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital from acute bacterial meningitis.

The young boy was admitted to the hospital to remove a benign cyst from near his spinal cord. He was expected to spend a week in the hospital before he was to be released to go home. He had been recovering very well until the day before he was set to be discharged. The boy suddenly developed a severe and aggressive infection. Very quickly the boy’s organs succumbed to the infection and he died on December 1st 2010.

When the medical team determined that the cause of the death was bacterial meningitis caused by Bacillus cereus, they were initially unable to explain where it came from. While it sometimes occurs in food poisoning cases, the bacteria are rarely found in hospitals.

When the product recall of the alcohol wipes appeared on the FDA webpage, a relative of the family noticed it. The boy’ parents remembered clearly that the recalled brand of alcohol wipes had been used on a daily basis, usually several times a day during the time their son was at the hospital. Officials at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston confirmed that the brand used in the hospital is the same one that was later recalled, according to report from MSNBC.

The parents of the boy have now filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Houston, claiming that manufacturer of wipes acted in a grossly negligent manner.

Source: MSNBC “Parents blame toddler’s death on tainted alcohol wipes” JoNel Aleccia, February 15, 2011