FDA Failed to Inspect Dirty Syringe Plant

Friday, March 6, 2009

syringe_filters

The FDA, still reeling from a series of regulatory failures and underfunding during the 8 years George Bush was president, is now faced with another unfolding scandal.

Following a nationwide salmonella outbreak linked to peanuts from a manufacturing plant in Georgia that sickened more than 600 people and claimed the lives of nine, news has surfaced that a North Carolina syringe factory, AM2PAT Inc., knowingly distributed tainted syringes and operated for almost two years without a Federal inspection despite a series of complaints that its needles were dirty or filled with suspicious particles.

AM2PAT is accused of skipping sterilization testing of its syringes in 2007 and shipping contaminated needles filled with the blood-thinner Heparin and saline solution. Along with five deaths, AM2PAT’s contaminated syringes sickened some 300 people, causing a variety of severe injuries, including spinal meningitis and permanent brain damage.

Shockingly, the FDA was aware of problems as early as 2005, but not until December 2007 did the agency issue recall notices on the tainted syringes.

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21 Responses to FDA Failed to Inspect Dirty Syringe Plant

  1. This is disgusting…they should make the CEO get a shot from each syringe they say they sterilized.

  2. This is in your homestate, Rick.

    Imagine, everytime we get a flu shot, now we have to wonder if the syringe came from this plant? It’s gross and unimaginable that things like this are taking place in the USA.

  3. Rachel says:

    All I can say is, ewwwwww. This makes me sick to my stomach to even think about. It’s a sad day for America when we can’t even get a shot from our doctor without having to worry if the syringe is contaminated with something. I think I would feel safer in Thailand or India now.

  4. Estacada says:

    Once again, where is the national media on reporting this story?

    Crickets. Not a damned word.

    Thank you for blogging this, Christopher. I have two friends who work in healthcare and I will pass this on to them.

  5. Harry says:

    I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

  6. The national media is busy with important stuff like SOCIALISM. See, if AM2PAT was only privatized, then….oops.

  7. Fran says:

    FDA=WTF?

  8. Panasit says:

    You know, people were making a big “I can’t believe it” reaction back when China executed some of the people responsible for the contaminated milk fiasco.

    But hearing a story like this, I still don’t support it (I am against death penalty), but I understand. My god, do I understand.

    I mean there are already so many things that is making you sick, the doctors are already under a lot of pressure, the families are probably devastated, and the patients are probably scared for his/her safety. Nobody likes going to a hospital and get needle stick into them. Contaminated syringes are something that we should never have to worry about.

    I hope every single one of the people responsible for this get life in prison.

    … and Rachel. I lived in the US for 12 years and live in Thailand 12 years. The quality of the hospitals are the same in that there are both good ones and bad ones, just make sure you go to the ones that start with the word “Saint”. And don’t knock my country. Your country has its problem too.

  9. Mark A. Lee says:

    OK, speaking as someone who has to give himself a shot on a weekly basis, this is pretty horrifying… Is there any way at all to check and see if the syringes you have are contaminated? Or if they are from the location that was having trouble? Something like that would be really good to know…

  10. Joe says:

    I remember about 10 years ago, a guy designed a syringe that was only good for one use, then it had to be discarded. Nobody thought it was worth pursuing.

  11. Idaho Librul says:

    I remember shortly after the SCOTUS installed Bush in the White House reading reports that he, Bush, planned to run the most corporation friendly administration in history.

    Apparently, this is what happened and if the safety of the American consumer had to be sacrificed, too damned bad.

    I can’t believe we survived the past 8 years.

  12. JollyRoger says:

    THE MARKETS!!! GOVERNMENT IS BAD!!! LET THE MARKETS REGULATE THEMSELVES!!!

    That Gopper mantra has worked out soooo frigging WELL, hasn’t it? Melamine milk, lead kid toys, peanut butter and salmonella sandwiches, and this.

    Private enterprise is ALWAYS better, right?

  13. Rachel says:

    Panasit,

    No one “knocked your country,” least of all me. So don’t try to cause trouble by putting words in my mouth or by assigning blame where there is none because I won’t let you get away with it. I notice you seem to take exception to regular posters here with increased frequency. If you don’t like the regulars here, I suggest you move on.

  14. bradfrmphnx says:

    I’m truely surprised that could happen here in America. For one thing, I would expect the equipment that made the syringes, to have built in safeguards and monitoring devices. How odd that something so serious as this went on for so long. Two years without a federal inspection despite complaints. Wonder how that conversation went…

    “I’m prepared to pay you….”

    Glad I blew off getting a flu shot this year.

  15. Panasit says:

    Rachel,
    “So don’t try to cause trouble by putting words in my mouth or by assigning blame where there is none because I won’t let you get away with it.”

    Listen, I didn’t put words in anybody’s mouth. You said “I would feel safer in Thailand or India now”. Before that sentence you said “it’s a sad day in America when you can’t even…” Anybody who read your post will get a feeling that “oh wow, she claimed would feel safer in Thailand or India, that means America is really unsafe”.

    If I misunderstood, I’m sorry. But it’s not really a big leap for me to assume you meant my country has a reputation of being unsanitary, and that to claim it is safer than America will be such a big surprise now is it?

    It’s like me saying “I’m so hungry I can eat at Denny’s”. No, I was not knocking on Denny’s at all.

    Or how about this:
    “Wow, kids in Korea are becoming more and more impolite and violence. I’d feel much safer being a teacher in Detroit now.” Did I knocked Detroit? Even if you didn’t knock my country, is it really a surprise that I misunderstood?

    You were comparing countries, based on medical services, and suddenly India and Thailand happens to come up as a truly better alternatives? I wasn’t even yelling at you. I just said don’t do it.

  16. Rachel says:

    Panasit,

    And I can say anything I want. It’s called the First Amendment but what would you know about free speech? I forget, you’re from Thailand and in Asia, government control is the order of the day.

  17. Rachel says:

    Christopher,

    You have mail.

  18. I am reminding everyone this Blog has a comment
    Comment Policy and it is strictly enforced. These are the rules:
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    Please remember, this Blog reserves the right to delete comments deemed to be inappropriate, homophobic, or racist in nature. Such comments will be deleted. No exceptions.
    Harassment, stalking or threatening our fellow community members will no longer be tolerated.
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    Repeated abuse of these rules will result in the offender being banned from participating on this Blog.
    One last comment. I have resisted pleas from community members to implement a comment policy but in recent months, as the traffic on the Blog has increased exponentially, I have been forced to deal with troll behavior from posters not interested in playing fair. This is my Blog and this is now the comment policy.

  19. lets see – the SEC asleep, FEMA asleep, the FDA asleep – all remnants of the Bush administration – but yet we choose to discuss obama’s gray hair or some other inane thing – or watch the GOP say no to everything..

    it is all collapsing – this is the dream of people like norquist and bush –

  20. panasit (the Original) says:

    Panasit the Original here.

    Born in Yangon, Burma. Raised and education in London, UK. Named by my loving parents and known as a regular contributor on blogs of a myriad of international newspaper blogs ranging from the UK Guardian, to Corre Della Serra, to Cape Argus, as well as the New York Times. I regularly post at the DailyKOS and Huffington Post, too.

    Please do not confuse me with the other panasit who comes here to make trouble and attack people with whom he disagree. We are not the same person and as a practicing Buddhist, I would engage in such behaviour.

    The owner of this blog would be well advised to ban the other panasit from posting. As you can see, our IP addresses are different. Mine originates in UK, as I am a resident of London.

  21. JollyRoger says:

    Repeated abuse of these rules will result in the offender being banned from participating on this Blog.

    After which the offender will come to me for arbitration 🙂

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