When the general public use medicine, they don't expect it to make their medical situation worse. However, according to a recent recall from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), this is what could happen if a several brands of eye ointment are applied.
Alongside Allergan, the TGA is currently recalling several batches of Ircal and Refresh Night Time eye ointments. Used to relieve dry eyes, the ointments are regularly prescribed by doctors.
What is the risk?
The recall involves the packaging of these eye ointments. The TGA reports that some of the black plastic can come off the lid upon opening, which can get into the ointment itself.
If this occurred without the knowledge of the patient and the ointment was placed in their eyes, there is the chance of swelling, pain, abrasion and irritation. There has been a number of these incidents thus far and the TGA hopes to recall all affected batches before someone is seriously hurt.
What are the next steps?
This problem impacts consumers, health professionals and pharmacists – with each playing a critical role in ensuring that the ointment doesn't pose a threat to the public.
Consumers are urged to check the batch number of their eye ointment and, if it matches the recall, return it to the pharmacy. It is important to add that the ointment should not be used without examining the number on the tube or carton.
While dry eyes is a condition that anyone can suffer from, it is common among the elderly. According to Tranquil Eyes, as many as 75 per cent of Australians over the age of 65 experience dry eyes.
As such, family members who know that their loved one or someone they care for uses dry eye ointment should analyse the batch number on their behalf. Newer versions of these products aren't affected, so replacement ointments are available if required.
Product liability in NSW
If you are injured by any product, regardless of whether it has been recalled or not, you could be eligible for compensation.
Injuries from products are more common than most people think. If you believe you have a case, contact a compensation lawyer at Gerard Malouf & Partners.
These lawyers operate on a no win no fee basis so they can advise you on your chances of success free of charge – if they think you have a case, it's completely up to you whether you engage their services.