Bacteria infections traced to pre-filled syringes

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating dozens of blood infections linked to medical syringes contaminated with bacteria.

Some 40 people have been made sick in Texas and Illinois, including 20 outpatients at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. No deaths were reported.

Doctors at Rush were able to trace the infections to heparin-filled syringes the patients used during home treatment for cancer and other ailments.

The infections were caused by bacteria found in a single batch of heparin-filled syringes made in North Carolina, by a company called Sierra Pre-Filled.

The company's president says the lot has been recalled and that it is working with the CDC and Food and Drug Administration on the investigation.

A CDC official says its not clear yet whether the original contamination was in the heparin, the saline used to dilute the drug or the syringes themselves.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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