Contaminated drug used by hospitals

Date: Feb 10, 2016

Australia's medical professionals have some of the hardest jobs in the country, relying on high-tech equipment and a range of pharmaceutical products to provide health care services to people. 

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, millions of people end up in emergency rooms across the country every year. Not only do the doctors and nurses they encounter have to do a good job, they often have to do it under increased time pressures as well. 

In these cases, it can be difficult to ensure all equipment is working as intended and all drugs have been formulated correctly. If something goes wrong, it could result in a medical negligence claim to ensure people are compensated fairly for any unintended consequences. 

Contamination discovered in hospital drugs

The Department of Health recently discovered that a significant portion of a certain type of drug is contaminated, potentially creating new medical concerns in the patients that have taken it. The organisations, in partnership Aspen Pharma and Arrow Pharma, is recalling a batch of Diamox pills due to suspicions of contamination. 

Also known as Acetazolamide, the medicine is used to treat a range of different diseases around Australia. People suffering from oedema, epilepsy or glaucoma may have been prescribed the drugs recently. If so, any further complications that arise could be the grounds for medical negligence claims. 

According to the Department of Health, one batch of these pills has been contaminated with a fungus that originates from the "Penicillium and/or Aspergillus species". Patients that have been given Diamox that contained dusty, mouldy or otherwise abnormal looking tablets should return them to the pharmacy where they were acquired. 

While the department didn't elaborate on the potential side effects of taking pills that were contaminated with the fungus, it did stress that anyone who has ingested the pills that match the above criteria should ensure they are returned safely. The batch number that people need to look out for is CD485. 

The department also stated that it has sent written instructions to hospitals and pharmacies that may need to treat patients that have taken these pills or have to dispose of them safely. 

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