In review, 2012 was a year like any other – there were highpoints and low points – and perhaps one of the most frightening events was from the outbreak of fungal meningitis which was first reported in late September in Tennessee.
To date, the outbreak has infected a total of 620 people in 19 states, with 39 deaths resulting. The Center for Disease Control was able to quickly and successfully linked the outbreak to tainted steroid injections from a Massachusetts pharmacy.
According to Dr. Rachel Smith, who works at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the outbreak could have been much worse as tainted spinal injections can be extremely deadly, killing as many as “40 to 50% of those who had become injected.”
While the first case surfaced in Tennessee, officials initially thought that it was an isolated case – in the past meningitis outbreaks had been the result of needles that were improperly stored and then used on patients.
However, as other cases sprang up in North Carolina, the quick response by the government and health officials linked the outbreak to a steroid medication methylprednisolone acetate.
The New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Massachusetts manufactures this compound and the US Food and Drug Administration issued a recall for three lots.
Even with the quick response, cases are still being reported, along with other events such as spinal infections located at the point of the injection site. These infections include spinal abscess and inflammation of nerve roots in the spine.
While the government and health authorities have worked around the clock to locate anyone who received the compound, it’s imperative that you contact local authorities if you are experiencing the onset of meningitis, which includes fever and chills, a change in mental status, vomiting, and sensitivity to light.
If you were contacted by authorities, and are considering legal action against the NECC, you need to work with attorneys and counsel who are experienced in these matters.
We are associated with counsel who handles pharmaceutical cases involving drugs or medical devices that injure people.
If you, your family member or friends believe they have been exposed to this tainted compound and have developed any of the symptoms, or wish to have the matter checked out, please call our office for a free consultation with regard to the problem.
We will be happy to investigate whether or not you have rights with respect to this issue based upon your use of the same as well as your current medical history.