Tainted Syringes in Texas

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

Some potentially serious infections are sweeping the state, and you could be at risk if you're not careful. Federal authorities are investigating dozens of cases in both Illinois and Texas linked to blood infections caused by bacteria-tainted syringes.

"My immediate concern was for the safety of the patients at Medical Center Hospital," said Robin Holt, the Risk Manger and registered nurse, said as soon as she heard the word about the cases of blood infections in Illinois and Texas, she knew the first think to confirm.

"We do not have to worry about this particular situation, because we do not use this product," said Holt.

The Centers for Disease Control said the product in question is pre-filled heparin syringes patients use to prevent blood clots and clean out IV lines. Federal authorities said all of the tainted syringes have come from one company:

Manufacturer: Sierra Pre-Filled, Inc.

Lot Number: 070926H

Each of the syringes contained bacteria called Serraita. And while the company has recalled the affected lot, folks at Medical Center Hospital are waiting to hear the official word.

"If the laboratory tests confirm that this is the cause of the infections, they'll recall this product, and that would then protect patients that potentially would be exposed," explained Holt.

But she said the pre-filled heparin syringes used for home treatment aren't used at the hospital.

"The way we do it here, is the heparin in a vial of its own, the normal saline's in a vial of its own, the pharmacist would mix those under sterile conditions in the pharmacy," said Holt.

It's also important to note each hospital uses different manufacturer for their syringes. So if you do use them for home therapy, make sure you know who you're getting them from.

Federal authorities said those in Texas who got the blood infection have been treated and released. They also add there are no deaths reported.