Nationwide recall of common anaesthesia drug after patients fall ill

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued a nationwide recall of commonly used anaesthetic, Propofol after three hospital patients in South Australia contracted a life threatening blood infection. The two batches of propofol manufactured by Claris Lifesciences are recalled due to potential contamination with the bacteria Ralstonia pickettii.

According to TGA, Propofol is used as a short-acting general anaesthetic in adults and children aged three years and above. And the samples are being tested to determine the cause of possible contamination. The patients have developed sepsis after propofol was administered to them in the course of their hospitalization. Two of the affected patients have been recovered whereas the third patient has died. However, South Australia Health chief public health officer said that the death of the patient cannot be linked to the contaminated drug. And also stated that it is an unusual infection and it’s important to avoid people vulnerable to these conditions.

TGA has alerted public and private hospitals that two batches of the anaesthetic propofol could be contaminated with the bacteria Ralstonia pickettii. The hospitals have also been advised to avoid the use of other propofol batches till the complete investigation, unless surgery is very important for the patient health and no suitable alternative drug is available.