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 May 14, 2005
FDA alerts hospitals not to use possibly contaminated IV solution
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WASHINGTON Federal regulators have alerted hospitals nationwide not to use a solution commonly used on heart patients.

It may be contaminated with the bacteria that caused this year's shortage of flu vaccine.

The Food and Drug Administration issued the alert against use of a PharMEDium Services Magnesium Sulfate.

The product is often given intravenously to patients undergoing cardiac surgery and was apparently distributed to several hospitals around the country.

So far it has been associated with at least five recent cases of infection.

According to an F-D-A statement, the infection (Serratia marcescens) can cause serious, life-threatening illness in patients with compromised immune systems.

The bacteria is blamed for urinary tract infections, infected surgical wounds and pneumonia, usually spread among hospital patients.

(Hospitals with questions may contact the company at 1-847-457-2300. Those wanting to report anything to the FDA regarding the products may contact the agency's MedWatch office at 1-800-FDA-1088.

The affected product has the lot number 100504900049 and expiration date 4/4/05. It is produced by PharMEDium Services of Houston.)

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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