As part of the CDC’s investigation of Bausch & Lomb’s eye contact solution ReNu with MoistureLoc, a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center doctor was able to grow the fusarium keratitis fungus from the contact lens solution. Dr. Deepinder Dhaliwal, the Director of Refractive Surgery at UPMC found the dangerous fungus within the contact lens solution and gave her results to the CDC.
Bausch & Lomb has decided to withdraw its ReNu contact lens solution from the Chinese markets. ReNu has come under intense scrutiny as well as several lawsuits for its link to a severe fungal infection called fusarium keratitis. Though rare, the fungus can cause blindness if not detected and treated promptly.
The Orlando Sentinelran a revealing article on the Orlando Police Department’s use of tasers during the past two years. An analysis of the data on Taser use showed that Orlando police have used Tasers against 1,243 people. The computer-assisted analysis, which also tracked 765 Taser cases through the criminal courts, showed that more than half of the people tased were neither violent nor suspected of committing felonies. Instead, they were charged only with minor misdemeanors, almost always including resisting without violence, which can mean as little as refusing to immediately obey a police officer’s order.
Bausch & Lomb, the maker of ReNu contact lens solution, didn’t bother to notify the FDA or the American public about infections Hong Kong officials found in the product in November 2005. This is important because the product sold in Hong Kong is manufactured at the same Carolina plant that supplies the contact lens solution to stores in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed that there are 24 new cases of fusarium keratitis. This brings the total to 54, up from 30 just two weeks ago. In the midst of new cases, Bausch & Lomb, the manufacturer of ReNu remains slow to react to the mounting crisis.
Bausch & Lomb, the maker of contact lens solution ReNu with MoistureLoc may have acted hesitantly when it failed to voluntarily pull its product off store shelves but not so for the FDA. Yesterday, the FDA issued a statement that consumers should immediately stop using the product and discard any remaining product they have in their posession. The FDA announcement comes on the heels of the news that seven people in Tennessee have been confirmed to have fungal keratitis. Six of them had been using MoistureLoc, The Associated Press reported Friday. Three of the patients needed corneal transplants to save their vision.
The US FDA and the Centers for Disease Control are still looking for the source and cause of the fusarium keratitis fungus that forced Bausch & Lomb to halt shipments of its once popular contact lens solution ReNu with MoistureLoc. Bausch & Lomb’s chief medical officer, Brian Levy, stated that “I think there’s more than one factor for sure.” The comments were part of the company’s thoughts concerning the origin of the fungus.
While the investigation is ongoing, we know thus far that of 30 cases in the US studied by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 patients wore soft contact lenses and 26 had used the Bausch & Lomb ReNu brand contact lens solution in the month before the onset of the infection. Eight patients required corneal transplantation.
In Singapore, of those 39 reported cases of fungal corneal infection, 34 used ReNu contact lens solution.
In an effort to locate the source of the fungal infection in suspected cases of Fusarium keratitis, the FDA is continuing its investigation of Bausch & Lomb plants. Of the 30 cases that have been reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26 people reported using a Bausch & Lomb ReNu brand contact lens solution or a generic made by the same company.
Last week, Bausch & Lomb told consumers not to use their eye contact solution ReNu with MoistureLoc after serious eye infections resulted. A fungus called Fusarium has been identified as the cause of the reported infections. As of April 9, there were 109 cases of suspected Fusarium keratitis under investigation by the CDC and health authorities in 17 states. The risk of contracting contact lens-related infection from the fungus, which is commonly found in soil, tap water and many plants. Eight patients have already required corneal transplants, The New York Times reported.
Clusters of the same infection were reported among contact lens users in Asia beginning in November 2005.
In February 2006, Bausch & Lomb voluntarily suspended sales of the ReNu multipurpose solutions in Singapore and Hong Kong, according to the FDA.