HOUSTON Looking at the pictures of 2-year-old Harrison Kothari in his family s home, you see a smiling, laughing child.
What you d never know is the little boy had brain surgery a month earlier to remove a benign cyst.
He was a happy, beautiful 2-year-old boy, said Sandra Kothari, Harrison s mother. He loved music, he loved playing with his 7-year-old sister.
Shortly after turning 2, Harrison died during his hospital stay at Children s Memorial Hermann. At the time, he had a drain inserted in his spine to remove some fluid, and he was set to go home the next day.
He had healed fabulously, said Shanoop Kothari, Harrison s father. He was going to get the drain removed the next day.
That night, the boy developed bacterial meningitis. He died hours later.
The Kotharis believe alcohol swabs made by TRIAD Group, Inc., were to blame. They say the swabs were used to clean their son s drain. The Kotharis believe the swabs were contaminated with a nasty bacteria called bacillus cereus more commonly known to cause food poisoning.
In managing a lumbar drain, they use the swab on the portal, said Jim Perdue, the Kotharis attorney. And so, it s pushed in and pulled back out so there is literally an opportunity to have injected this bacillus cereus into the lumbar drain every time they used an alcohol swab.
Triad Group has voluntarily recalled all of its alcohol products. The company also makes alcohol pads and swabs for dozens of other stores, like CVS, Kroger, Safeway and Walgreens.
Perdue says the concerns aren t just for patients like Harrison, but also for people who use Triad alcohol pads for injections.
@They are suing the company.@
It s a very resistant bacteria (bacillus cereus), said Perdue. The body is able to fight it off if you have a healthy person. But when you re talking about injections for people with M.S. or diabetes and they re literally using this at the injection site and then puncturing the skin, it can cause some really serious problems.
Houston endocrinologist Dr. Eric Orzeck said if there was in fact contamination, the very young that don t have as strong as an immune system are particularly at risk.
When it s applied to the skin and there s an open area in which you would use when you re getting an IV, that can cause a very severe local infection, said Dr. Orzeck.
He says symptoms could develop within 24 hours of using it. Those who haven t seen symptoms past two days are probably OK, Orzeck said.
There are several symptoms the doctor says to keep in mind.
It might be headaches or difficulty breathing, obviously infection at the site which would be apparent with redness and swelling, he said.
What concerns the Khotaris is that most people haven t heard of the recall.
People could have these in their homes, in their bathrooms right now, said Sandra Kothari.
And so as painful as it is to talk about their son, the Kotharis hope that people will remember their little boy and do a simple thing check their medicine cabinets.
Children s Memorial Hermann Hospital released a statement in response to the tragic news.
Children s Memorial Hermann Hospital is deeply saddened by the death of any child in our care, it read. Memorial Hermann was notified of the product recall in January, one month after this child died. At that time, the product was removed from our shelves. We are dedicated to providing the highest standard of quality care and patient safety at Children s Memorial Hermann Hospital.
The manufacturer has not responded to an 11 News request for information, but its website states:
This recall has been initiated due to concerns from a customer about potential contamination of the products with an objectionable organism that may or may not be related to Triad s manufacture of these products. We are, out of an abundance of caution, recalling these lots and revalidating our production lines...