Utah retailers are pulling Sudafed capsules from shelves, B1SEATTLE (UPI) - Medical examiners have forwarded a blood sample of a deceased woman to a laboratory to determine whether a third Washington person may have died from cyanide-laced cold capsules.
Meanwhile, a sixth tampered-with package of Sudafed 12-Hour cold capsules was found Tuesday in a Tacoma store by FDA inspectors, but it wasn't immediately known if it contained poison - only that it showed signs of being tampered with, said Dean Owen, a Washington Department of Health spokesman.The FDA said the package was located in a stockroom of a Pay'n Save Drug Stores Inc. store at the Tacoma Mall after it and other Sudafed capsules had been removed from the shelves.
The package found Tuesday was larger than the tampered-with packages that were located earlier, Owen said.
"This one is different from the others in that it involves a 20-count capsule pack that had been tampered with," he said. "The previous five involved 10-count capsule packs."
Washington Health Secretary Kristine Gebbie on Tuesday ordered a full review by the state Board of Pharmacy of regulations pertaining to all over-the-counter capsule medications.
Authorities Tuesday also said five people received tranplants of organs donated by one of the confirmed victims of the Northwest's second case of deadly product tampering in five years.
Officials of the Northwest Organ Procurement Agency said the heart, liver, lungs and kidneys of another victim, Stan McWhorter, 44, of Lacey, Wash., were transplanted into five recipients within several days of his Feb. 18 death.
But Dr. Christopher Blagg, head of the Northwest Kidney Center, said standard testing procedures had been followed during the organ procurement and there was no reason to expect problems.
Pierce County Coroner Dr. John Howard said a check of all county deaths since the beginning of the year had turned up one more incident in which a woman collapsed suddenly and died shortly after taking a decongestant for a cold - but not Sudafed.
Howard said there were no other cases of people dying after taking Sudafed in Pierce County, where a Tacoma woman, Kathleen Daneker, 40, who died Feb. 11, was the first confirmed victim of Sudafed cyanide poisoning.
Howard said cyanide quickly attacks the cells of the body, usually within 4 or 5 minutes, rendering a victim unable to breath and causing collapse.
The connection between the deaths of Daneker and McWhorter was not established until Sunday, one day after it was determined Daneker and Jennifer Meling, 28, of Tumwater, who survived a severe bout with cyanide poisoning Feb. 2, had ingested Sudafed capsules from interior "blister packs" bearing the same lot number.