Epidural Steroid Injections And Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 317 people in 17 states have contracted fungal meningitis when they were getting an epidural steroid injection (ESI) to treat lumbar spine pain. At least 24 people have died. What is going on out there?

Only one case has been reported in Texas to date. A woman in Dallas died after being injected. Harris Hospital in Southlake and other local hospitals and facilities are believed to have administered the lots contaminated with a rare fungus that causes meningitis, and it is believed that there will be many more cases.

The CDC says as many as 14,000 patients received a contaminated injections distributed by a small company outside of Boston called New England Compounding Center (NECC).

There are over 7,500 of these centers across the country that mix medicines for local customers. However many have started shipping their products elsewhere. They are barely regulated by state governments and not by the FDA at all.

The FDA closed down NECC after the pharmacy recalled three lots consisting of a total of 17,676 single-dose vials of the steroid, preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate. NECC later recalled all of its pharmaceutical products put into circulation this year, which may include as many as 2,400 medical products.

Meningitis is characterized by a sudden onset of fever, headache and stiff neck, according to CDC. It is often accompanied by other symptoms, including

• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
• Altered mental status

Some of my clients have these epidural steroid injections to help alleviate their neck, back and joint pain caused by automobile or trucks.

If you have been treated with a steroid shot for back pain anytime during the summer or fall of 2012, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Call my office at 1-888-801-8585 if you or someone you know has been infected. I only handle collision cases but will make sure that you receive high quality legal representation from an attorney who specalizes in these cases and who accepts them on a contingency fee basis (like in collision cases, he will not get paid unless you recover money).

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