OT Antiseptic Supplies Recall Widens

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- A maker of packaged antiseptic products being investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has widened a voluntary recall over concerns about possible bacterial contamination.

The products made by Clinipad Corp., including swab sticks, ointments and protective dressings, were sold to hospitals, blood banks and retail pharmacies.

The Connecticut-based company, which eliminated 200 jobs when it closed its Charlotte plant last month after it failed an FDA inspection, says it found bacterial contamination in some products made at the plant and cannot ensure the sterility of others.

''This situation represents a potential public health hazard,'' Clinipad President Nelson Ford wrote in a letter to customers last week. The announcement widened a recall that began in December.

The company is sending notices to 3,000 customers and 100 manufacturers who make kits that incorporate its products.

The bacteria found in the recalled products include a common form of staphylococcus.

The contaminated items, made in the last three years, could have caused serious infections, said FDA spokeswoman Susan Cruzan. But there have been no reports of infection or illness caused by the products, according to the FDA and Clinipad.

Before the Feb. 14 plant closing, the company notified customers that sales of several products using iodine were being suspended. At that time, Ford wrote that previously manufactured products were ''safe and pose no health risk to patients or the general public.'' But now, two iodine products are among those being recalled by the company.

An FDA spokeswoman said the agency has not finished its investigation of the Clinipad plant in Charlotte.

On the Web: Details on the recall on the FDA's Web site at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/new.htm

AP-NY-03-14-00 1616EST< 

-- viewer (justp@ssing.by), March 14, 2000

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