Last Wednesday, Nurse Assist, Inc. announced a recall of all unexpired lots of I.V. Flush Syringes due to a potential link to Burkholderia cepacia bloodstream infections with the product.

To date,at least 36 potential cases of B. cepacia linked to the above products have been reported from four states- Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has identified 20 cases of B. cepacia in residents that may be linked to prefilled saline flush syringes.

Although investigators have been unable to pinpoint the exact source of these illnesses, each patient resided in a facility using prefilled syringes of saline flush made by Nurse Assist, a Haltom City, Texas production facility. The Pennsylvania Department of Health tested a sample of these syringes and identified contamination with B. cepacia.

In Maryland, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has identified 11 cases among Maryland residents – none of whom has died.

The New Jersey Department of Health has so far identified two New Jersey cases associated with this outbreak.

Delaware health officials  was notified by infection control staff at a Delaware hospital that during the past month, three patients with blood cultures positive for B. cepacia had been admitted.

All three are residents of the same long term care facility in Delaware and all are/were receiving long-term intravenous antibiotic therapy. All have since been discharged from the hospital and are back at the long term care facility.

“Bloodstream infections linked to B. cepacia can be quite serious. We are encouraging all medical providers to determine if they have used any of the potentially contaminated products and be vigilant in testing to identify such infections in patients who may have been exposed and are acutely ill,” said Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “We are continuing to work closely with the CDC and other federal agencies as this situation evolves.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms of B. cepacia infection vary widely, ranging from no symptoms at all to serious respiratory infections, especially in patients with cystic fibrosis. B. cepacia can also be resistant to many common antibiotics.