Benzocaine Teething Products & Dangerous Infant Injuries
Many over the counter teething products contain benzocaine, a powder used in ointments as a local anesthetic. A recall issued in May 2018 warned that benzocaine can be a serious danger to infants as it can cause methemoglobinemia which reduces the level of oxygen carried throughout the infant’s body. Unfortunately, this blood disorder can result in death.
If your child suffered methemoglobinemia while using over the counter teething products containing benzocaine, contact our experienced product liability attorneys at GoldenbergLaw for a free consultation.
Case Quick Facts
Teething infants often experience aches and pains in their gums as the teeth surface. Many parents choose to use teething gels to help soothe the pain in their child’s mouth. Many over the counter teething products contain benzocaine, a powder used as a local anesthetic. Benzocaine can cause methemoglobinemia, a blood disorder in which there is insufficient oxygen delivered to cells. Methemoglobinemia can lead to death. Children under 2 years of age appear to be at particular risk.
Methemoglobinemia has several signs and symptoms, including:
- pale or grayish colored skin, lips, and nail beds
- shortness of breath
- rapid heart rate
These symptoms can surface as soon as minutes after application. It is important to consult a medical professional immediately if your infant experiences any of these symptoms.
Benzocaine teething products are in several brand-named teething products, including:
- Baby Orajel
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warnings in 2011 regarding the dangers of benzocaine. However, manufacturers continued to make their products with benzocaine and also failed to make prominent labels about the risks associated with benzocaine.
In May 2018, the FDA warned that if companies continue to sell benzocaine, they will see regulatory actions taken to remove these products from the U.S. market.
Despite previous warnings about the risks of benzocaine, manufacturers continued to sell these products without adequately warning of the dangers. If your child was injured due to the manufacturer’s failure to warn, contact us. Call us now at 1-855-975-6581 for a free consultation. There’s no fee unless we recover.Do I Qualify?
Studies and Reports
This report from 2005 investigates the cause of death for an infant. A toxicological evaluation revealed his methemoglobin was 2300% above the normal rate and the benzocaine concentration in his blood was 135% more than normal.
Studies and Reports
A case report from the Department of Emergency Medicine highlights the potential toxicity of over the counter medications with benzocaine. It also advises that physicians talk with patients about the dangers of inappropriate use as the labels typically do not warn of such risks.
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