As of October 7, 2012, 91 people have contracted fungal meningitis – a form that is not contagious – from tainted steroid injections and 7 have died across 9 states.
With 4 cases of fungal meningitis reported in Florida as of October 8, 2012 as the result of contaminated steroid injections used to treat pain and inflammation, it is important for consumers to be aware of the potential risks. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that the potentially contaminated injections were administered beginning on May 21, 2012.
Clinicians are being advised to contact patients who have been given medicines under the three lots of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (80mg/ml) recalled on September 26, 2012. A complete list of recalled products can be found here.
What Caused the Meningitis Outbreak?
A multi-state investigation of meningitis patients who were given epidural steroid injections (medication injected into the spine) has been launched. In many instances, the meningitis was linked to a fungus that is commonly seen in the environment but seldom leads to meningitis.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc. d/b/a New England Compounding Center (NECC), recalled all products manufactured and distributed from its facility in Framingham, Massachusetts. Foreign particles were found by inspectors at the NECC plant in unopened vials. A test from an unopened vial revealed the substance to be a fungus and an investigation is ongoing. The recall is being issued as a precaution and customers, clinics, hospitals, and healthcare providers are being notified and advised to stop using the product right away as well as keeping and securing the all NECC products. Instructions for what to do with the products are being sent by fax.
A 2003 Government Accountability Office report states that almost 10% of pharmaceuticals given to patients in the United States originate from compound pharmacies. Drugs manufactured at compound pharmacies are exempt from FDA-mandated premarket approval and instead are monitored by state health pharmacy boards.
Help is Available in Florida
At Farah & Farah, our Jacksonville FL pharmaceutical litigation attorneys are committed to protecting the rights of those injured and families of those killed due to dangerous drug side effects, contaminated products, and other product flaws or defects. Please call us today at 877-245-6707 for a free consultation and to learn more about your legal rights and options.
Symptoms & Treatment
Meningitis affects the protective membranes of the brain and spinal cord, causing them to inflame. Symptoms of meningitis include fever, new or worsening headache, neck stiffness, sensitivity to light, new weakness or numbness, increasing pain, redness or swelling of the injection site. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of meningitis, it is of the utmost importance to see a doctor immediately. The earlier a patient gets treatment for meningitis, the better his or her chances are of recovering.
Treatment for meningitis may be costly as patients are given anti-fungal medication intravenously and require admittance to the hospital. However, the pharmaceutical manufacturer responsible for creating and distributing the products may be held liable for economic and non-economic damages associated with the meningitis caused by the contaminated products.
Jacksonville Contaminated Fungal Meningitis Steroid Injection Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Injured Consumers in Florida
Suffering a serious injury or illness from a pharmaceutical product can be a frightening experience, to say the least. As consumers, we trust that the medications we take are safe and free of any unknown side effects or contaminants that could cause us harm. However, due to various forms of negligence and oversight, contaminated and dangerous medications do make it on the market from time to time. If you or someone you care about has meningitis caused by contaminated steroid injections, please contact the Jacksonville personal injury lawyers at Farah & Farah. Call 877-245-6707 today.