Thursday, April 12, 2007

Agent Cool Blue


Just when I think I can enjoy a worry-free moment, something happens that places all bets off. I followed my usual routine this morning, snuggling in bed between 5:15 and 5:45 listening to Walter's morning routine: dress, walk dogs, allow dogs to rough house and bark incessantly while waiting for their breakfast, feed dogs. Having re-awakened to the blissful notes of dogs agitating each other, I popped downstairs to give Erin her chemo, then dressed for my pre-daylight walk around the lake with Willie. I even had a chuckle when the piranha-like pack of wee white doggies from across the lake (all three of them look like oddly pristine cleaning accoutrements) chased Willie the Brave, out of their yard and down the road. Both of us survived. By 6:30 I had returned home and settled at the table with a cup of coffee and the local paper. Five minutes into a six-minute newspaper (you know, the kind that you can’t train a puppy on), I read that Agent Cool Blue, the “plaque detecting rinse” Erin had talked me into after her dentist office visit a couple of weeks ago was recalling 4 million units of its product line.

“Interesting,” I thought to myself, “The container probably contains small parts that could choke a three-year old.”


I read further and discovered that because the product doesn’t contain alcohol (a relatively good thing for most products geared to go in children’s mouths), it does not protect against the proliferation of certain micro-organisms. ALL units of the product that have ever been manufactured were recalled. I ran upstairs, revved up the computer, and visited the website the newspaper article had referred me to. This is what I read:

My child has been using this product. Should I be concerned?

  • McNEIL-PPC, Inc. conducted a thorough assessment and concluded that the risk of illness in healthy individuals following use of this product is very low. Ha Ha, I thought. Erin’s safe. Then I read further. . . However, there could be a significant health risk to individuals with weakened or suppressed immune systems. To date, there have been no consumer adverse health events reported that are related to this issue. If you have further concerns, please consult your healthcare professional.

Ack! That’s not what I wanted to read. The “innocent” product I bought so that my child who has chemo-weakened teeth has a better chance to preserve her smile puts her at risk for bacterial infection.

So far, I haven’t gotten through on the consumer line to see how dire our predicament is. Erin’s blood counts were solidly low normal yesterday, so I’m not actually all that worried. It’s just that I’d rather not be worried at all.

I had intended to give you a full weekly report today, along with lovely pics. Be patient. I will fill in the details of the convergence of the peak of softball season, the coming finale of soccer, Davis’s birthday, Easter, and all the other Buenger details. The opportunity just hasn’t bubbled to the top yet.

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