Woman who was linked to deadly bacteria makes her blind

Woman who was linked to deadly bacteria makes her blind

A Florida woman is suing an eye drop manufacturer claiming that their product — which has been linked to a deadly bacteria outbreak — made her legally blind.

Sixty-eight year-old Clara Elvira Oliva is taking legal action against Global Pharma Healthcare after she suffered from an EzriCare Artificial Tears that she had to have her eye removed, according to court documents.

The lawsuit filed earlier this month in Federal Court in Miami, Florida, shows that Oliva's right eye was removed and replaced with a plastic implant in September 2022 to control a severe antibiotic resistant infection.

The complaint continued, given her decreased visual acuity of 20 200 in her remaining left eye.

Oliva is one of nearly 70 people in 16 states who have been infected with a rare strain of an extensively drug-resistant bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, three people have died, eight others have reported losing their vision and four others, including Oliva, have had one of their eyeballs removed due to the severity of the infection, according to data from the CDC.

In March of last month, Global Pharma issued a recall for all of its EzriCare Delsam Pharma artifical tears and Delsam Pharma's Artificial Eye Ointment, as well as its Artificial Eye Ointment, because of the multi-state outbreak.

According to the lawsuit, Oliva started using the recalled product in May 2022 after the eye drops authorized by her insurer had changed. By August, her right eye was noticeably red, swollen and abnormally watery, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit continued, because of the ineffective medicine she was prescribed for, and her vision continued to deteriorate.

She was allegedly having chronic pain in her eye and her vision continued to worsen over the month, even as her medications were modified.

The suit stated that there was moderate growth of pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Despite aggressive medical treatment, the pain in her right eye continued to increase, her visual acuity continued to worsen, and the corneal ulcer continued to grow, the suit stated. The treaters changed their medications, but nothing tried to be effective. Medical professionals determined that removing her eye was the best option because of the severity of the infection, exhaustion of treatment methods, and the risk of spreading the infection systematically creating a life-threatening condition.