Lawsuits are now being reviewed for people who were injured after using Opti-Free Replenish contact lens solution. Users of this product have been diagnosed with stenotrophomonas maltophilia, a severe drug-resistant bacterial infection.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one suffered an injury after using Opti-Free Replenish contact lens solution, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against Alcon and our lawyers can help.
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What is Opti-Free Replenish?
Opti-Free Replenish is a multi-purpose contact lens disinfecting solution made by Alcon. The product features a proprietary “TearGlyde” reconditioning system that works with the user’s tears to create a shield of moisture to keep contact lenses comfortable all day long. Opti-Free Replenish is designed for use with all soft contact lenses, including silicone hydrogel.
Contact Lenses and Eye Infections
Taking proper care of your contact lenses while using Opti-Free Replenish solution greatly reduces your risk of eye infections. However, it’s important to know that even with proper contact lens care, some risk of eye infection remains. This is particularly true of severe bacterial infections like stenotrophomonas maltophilia.
What is Stenotrophomonas Maltophilia?
Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (S. maltophilia) is a rare but extremely serious bacterial infection caused by S. maltophilia bacteria. These bacteria typically live in and around the body without causing harm; however, individuals who are hospitalized for other conditions, as well as those with impaired immune systems, may be susceptible to infection.
The symptoms of stenotrophomonas maltophilia are typically related to the organ system(s) that have been infected. The most common manifestations of the infection include:
- Soft tissue infections
- Wound infections
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Eye infections
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Factors that increase the risk a patient may develop stenotrophomonas maltophilia include:
- Admission to an intensive care unit (ICU)
- Prolonged hospitalization
- HIV infection
- Cystic fibrosis
- Recent surgery
- Mechanical ventilation
- Previous therapy with broad-spectrum antibiotics
- Use of Opti-Free Replenish contact lens solution
Stenotrophomonas maltophilia bacteria tend to be resistant to many types of antibiotics. Currently, the recommended therapy is trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (co-trimoxazole, or TMP-SMX). If this cannot be used, therapy with a number of other antibiotic medications may be considered. Combination therapy may be necessary in life-threatening cases. The duration of therapy depends on the infection site.
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In 2009, a study presented at the Eighth National Congress on Optometry and Opticianry in Singapore found that some contact lens solutions can make the eye more susceptible to infection by causing cell damage that strips away the eyes’ natural protective barriers. The research suggested that some brands of contact lens solution — including Opti-Free Replenish — are cytotoxic, or toxic to cells. The study’s authors said the products may damage the corneal epithelium, which works as the outer protective barrier of the cornea, leading to an increased risk of bacterial infection.
Eye Infection Outbreaks Lead to Calls for Higher Standards
In May 2007, Advanced Medical Optics (now Abbott Medical Optics) announced that it was pulling its Complete MoisturePlus contact lens solution off the U.S. market because it had been linked to the development of a potentially blinding eye infection called acanthamoeba keratitis.
Based on these and other similar problems with contact lens solutions, a panel of eye care experts advised the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to adopt stricter guidelines for the testing of contact lenses and contact lens solutions. The panel also recommended that the FDA develop standardized lens care guidelines for consumers. Specifically, the panel recommended that contact lens care products should include a strong warning against reusing or “topping off” solutions and that consumers should not use tap water to rinse their lenses or contact lens storage cases.
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Do I Have an Opti-Free Replenish Lawsuit?
The Product Liability Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Opti-Free Replenish Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new stenotrophomonas maltophilia cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was injured after using the Opti-Free Replenish contact lens solution, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.