Children’s Hospital is Whistleblower on Contaminated Wipes

By Peter DePaolis

Last fall, contaminated alcohol wipes at The Children’s Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, caused a string of potentially deadly infections. Doctors at the hospital became alarmed when some young patients developed bloodstream infections stemming from Bacillus cereus – a rare bacteria. The contaminated wipes are the product of the Triad Group in Hartland, Wisconsin. Since the outbreak, Triad has voluntarily recalled hundreds of millions of alcohol swabs, wipes and pads.

Doctors discovered the contamination weeks after a 10-year-old patient developed a high fever and intense pain unrelated to his illness. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) credited the hospital for its discovery of the contaminated product, widely used in hospitals, clinics and homes. FDA inspectors traveled to Triad’s plant immediately after the report from Children’s Hospital.

Alarmingly, FDA internal documents showed that the agency knew of potential contamination and sterilization problems at Triad as early as 2009. An FDA official said, at the time, the agency did not believe Triad’s practices posed an “imminent health hazard.” Triad’s CEO said he could not respond to questions regarding sterilization and contamination due to pending litigation.

The parents of a two-year-old Houston boy are suing Triad for their son’s death last December. They are claiming gross negligence and damages for the loss of their son’s life. The boy developed a sudden and severe infection leading to multi-organ failure. He died December 1, 2010, of meningitis linked to the wipes.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a defective product, a Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyer can help. Contact Kelly Fisher, a Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.