Death Toll Continues to Climb from Meningitis Tainted Steroid Injections

Ennis & Ennis, P.A. Continues to Offer Free Nationwide Confidential Consultations to Patients who Received an Epidural Steroid Injection and Contracted Fungal Meningitis
 
Oct. 8, 2012 - PRLog -- Nearly 13,000 patients have likely been exposed to the contaminated spinal steroid injections, which have made more than 100 persons seriously ill with fungal meningitis and killed eight, according to federal officials. [1] Clinics and surgery centers across the country continue to try and contact those individual patients who may have been affected by the tainted medication. Federal and state investigators have traced the dangerous drug to three lots of methylprednisolone acetate injections produced by New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Massachusetts.  [2]

There have been 105 reported cases of fungal meningitis, including nine deaths, in nine states including: Florida, 4 cases; Indiana, 11 cases; Maryland, 5 cases with one death; Michigan, 21 cases with two deaths; Minnesota, 3 cases; North Carolina, 2 cases; Ohio, 1 case; Tennessee, 35 cases with four deaths; and Virginia, 23 cases with one death.  [3] 17,676 one-dose vials of the suspected drug were shipped to seventy-five clinics in 23 states. [4] The majority of these shots were epidural spinal injections commonly used to treat lower back pain or sciatica. Investigators from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) noted that typically those who have been affected develop symptoms between one and four weeks after receiving their injections.  [5]

FDA officials advised medical professionals not to use any NECC made products due to the risks of contaminations.  [6]  NECC is urgently recalling all 2,410 drugs it manufactured as a precaution against contamination.  [7]  If any individual suspects he/she may have received a dose of the contaminated medicine, he/she should contact his/her health provider immediately to determine if the medication came from NECC. Meningitis is a potentially deadly inflammation of the brain and/or central nervous system. Since the fungal form of meningitis is particularly difficult to diagnose due to vague symptoms, patients should be attentive to symptoms including fever, headache, nausea and stiffness of the neck.  [8]  Patients can also experience dizziness, confusion and/or a stroke.

   This new outbreak has focused attention to the under-regulated world of compounding pharmacies   Due to legal challenges, the FDA has been unable to adequately regulate compounding companies such a requiring and evaluating clinical trials and inspecting the manufacturing facilities. Stronger regulation clearly is needed.

Ennis & Ennis, P.A. continues to offer free, nationwide, confidential consultations to anyone who received the NECC products and contracted fungal meningitis by calling toll free 1-800-856-6405 or by going to www.ennislaw.com and completing an online case evaluation form.

Ennis & Ennis, P.A. is a nationwide law firm with offices in Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Washington D.C. that concentrates its practice in mass torts and represents individuals against pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers.

[1]  http://emergency.cdc.gov/HAN/han00327.asp
[2]  http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm322734.htm
[3]  http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis-map.html
[4]  http://www.ennislaw.com/meningitis-lawsuit-attorney-meningitis-outbreak-news-10072012.html
[5]  http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/patients/faq-meningitis-outbreak-patients.html
[6]  http://emergency.cdc.gov/HAN/han00327.asp
[7]  http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm322752.htm
[8]  http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/fungal.html
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