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Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon) Recall Overview

Ethicon, a unit of the Johnson & Johnson company, recently issued a voluntary recall of some of its products after discovering problems including sterile packaging on various surgical drains. Johnson & Johnson has also had to issue recalls on wound-sealing adhesive and hernia-repair products. Although the company claims that there have been no reports of adverse effects, Ethicon stated that at least 360,000 surgical drain units have been recalled due to “customer complaints.”

The affected units are the Blake Silicone Drains, Blake Silicone Drain Kits, Blake Cardio Connectors, J-VAC Reservoirs and J-VAC Drain Adapters. Ethicon stated that the sterile packaging on these products “could be compromised.” The recall affects 341 lots of products manufactured from May 10, 2010 to February 28, 2011.

It remains to be seen if any injuries have resulted from these defective drain products. However, lawsuits are already underway for Ethicon Dermabond, a wound-sealant, and Securestrap hernia repair units. Claims abound that the Dermabond product was discolored, leading to fears that it might be tainted, and Securestrap was possibly compromised regard sterility due to poor packaging.

Johnson & Johnson has been plagued by a variety of recalls outside of its Ethicon division, as well. Because of the size of the Johnson & Johnson empire, several subsidiary companies have been involved in these recalls. A timeline of recent recalls follows.

  • Motrin. The trouble began in July, 2009, when Johnson & Johnson finally recalled Motrin products after consumers complained of a “sickening smell.” The recall came after the company had known for a year about problems with the product.
  • Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplets in late 2009. Johnson & Johnson next had to recall bottles of the arthritis pain medicine, leading to speculation that more recalls were pending.
  • DePuy Orthopedics hip implants in August of 2010. In one of the most devastating recalls, Johnson & Johnson was forced to reconsider its support of the hip implant pieces after severe problems were noted which caused failure of these implants.
  • 1-Day Acuvue TruEye contact lenses in August, 2010. 100,000 boxes of contacts were recalled when Johnson & Johnson discovered complaints about stinging and eye irritation. Although the recall did not affect the U.S. market, over 42 countries were affected.
  • 127,000 bottles of Tylenol 8-Hour caplets were recalled in October, 2010, after consumers complained of a “musty odor” in some of the bottles.
  • Three Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom products as well as Children’s Benadryl and Motrin products were recalled in November, 2010, due to reviews by various agencies, although the company claimed no adverse effects from the use of these products and did not consider this a “consumer level recall.”
  • All lots of Rolaids Extra Strength Softchews, Rolaids Extra Strength Plus Gas Softchews and Rolaids Multi-Symptom Plus Anti-Gas Softchews were recalled in December, 2010, after Johnson & Johnson discovered that wood and metal particles were found in a few bottles.
  • Also included in this recall were dozens of Mylanta liquid products and an AlernatGEL mixture.
  • Rolaids. Almost 4 million units of Rolaids were pulled in January of 2011 to update labeling, although many observers believed this recall may have stemmed from the December recall of all Rolaids products.
  • Tylenol, Benadryl, Sinutab and Sudafed products. In January, 2011, 43 million bottles of certain over-the-counter pain and cold remedies were recalled when the Pennsylvania plant where they were manufactured was found to have issues with cleaning procedures. Although the company claimed that no products had been tainted, they elected to pull massive quantities from the shelves.
  • Invega injectable anti-psychotic drug syringes. In February of 2011, Invega recalled 70,000 syringe products due to problems with cracks in the plastic bodies, fearing these could lead to infections.

If you have complaints after the use of any Johnson & Johnson products, contact a professional personal injury attorney to discuss your case.

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