The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy, the New Jersey Department of Health and other state health departments are investigating a multistate outbreak of Burkholderia cepacia (B. cepacia) bloodstream infections possibly associated with pre-filled saline flushes.

Scanning Electron Micrograph of Burkholderia cepacia/CDC
Scanning Electron Micrograph of Burkholderia cepacia/CDC

The New Jersey Department of Health was notified last week by the Pennsylvania and Maryland Departments of Health about clusters of bloodstream infections in these states in patients in long term care facilities who have histories of receiving medications via central lines. There is concern that these infections are due to a contaminated source, specifically pre-filled saline flushes from Nurse Assist (Haltom City, Texas).

All long term care facilities that received this product were contacted by the Department on Sept. 30 and told to discontinue using the products and set aside until further notice. However, since this is a rapidly evolving situation, not all distribution networks have been identified, and it is unclear at this time that all the affected products have been identified.

The Department recommends that any health care facilities, providers or anyone else who has received Nurse Assist pre-filled saline flushes immediately discontinue use and sequester these products until further notice.

While the investigation is ongoing, the Department has so far identified two New Jersey cases associated with this outbreak. The Department is asking long-term facilities to report suspect illnesses.