Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another Preventable Crisis

The Triad Group of Hartland, WI is fast becoming the latest posterchild for preventable business crises.

2-year-old Harrison Kothari of Houston, TX died Dec. 1, 2010 from a rare infection that has been linked to a contaminated alcohol wipe used in a hospital. His parents have filed a "gross negligence" lawsuit. At last count this week, more than 50 potential victims have contacted plaintiff's attorneys wanting to sue. That number is sure to swell.

Then, this week, to make matters worse, it was reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found signs of sterilization problems and contamination at the Wisconsin plant in July 2009 and didn't take any documented enforcement action.

Additional government documents indicate inspectors found similar sterilization problems in the same plant a year later, with still no sign that a clean-up was ordered.

In fact, MSNBC.Com has found FDA documents from the summer of 2009 that say, "Procedures designed to prevent microbiological contamination of drug products purporting to be sterile are not followed."

After the death of the Texas boy, Triad began a recall of millions of alcohol wipes, potentially contaminated with the rare bacteria Bacillus cereus. The FDA has received at least 100 reports of problems likely caused by the contaminated wipes since the recall was announced.

After the death of the 2-year-old, FDA launched an investigation, but neither the FDA nor Triad are talking.

This is beginning to look like another company that ignored the warning signs of impending trouble and will have no one else to blame when the company collapses and fails.

Remember, two-thirds of all business crises are preventable. All you have to do is look for the signs of trouble and take action to fix what ever is wrong then, not later.

A $30-million lawsuit has since been filed by a Tennessee man who had to have open-heart surgery after his heart was infected with the rare infection.

In addition to the victims of the contaminated wipes, FDA now joins the government agencies that failed to do their jobs, which contributed to the Massey Coal Mine disaster and the BP oil well explosion and spill.

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