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Hot/cold gel packs: Thermoskin hot/cold packs

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Urgent safety advisory

2 September 2008

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is recalling Thermoskin® brand gel hot/cold packs after testing revealed that the packs contain the toxic substance ethylene glycol, rather than the non-toxic ingredient propylene glycol.

The TGA's investigation was prompted by a report of an incident in NSW involving a case of accidental poisoning of a young child following the ingestion of the contents of a Thermoskin® brand hot/cold pack.

Recall notices advising consumers of this recall will appear in the media as soon as the sponsor of Thermoskin® is able to obtain advertising space in national newspapers. In the meantime recall letters are being sent directly to pharmacists and other outlets selling Thermoskin® packs.

Following this incident the TGA has written to all sponsors of gel hot/cold packs to obtain information regarding ingredients in their packs and to obtain samples for further testing to ensure that they do not contain ethylene glycol.

The TGA will provide further advice about whether other brands of hot/cold packs contain ethylene glycol as soon as test results become available.

In the meantime parents should ensure that all gel hot/cold packs are kept out of reach of children and are only used under adult supervision. In the event of accidental ingestion patients are urged to attend the nearest emergency department immediately for assessment and further management.