The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is undergoing a multistate investigation with assistance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and public officials to get to the bottom of the fungal meningitis outbreak sweeping the United States. A total of 75 health care facilities have received shipments of an epidural steroid that has been distributed to 23 states across the country.
North Carolina is amongst the states who have received this potentially dangerous steroid medication. Thus far, the CDC believes that upwards of 13,000 patients have received this epidural steroid injection and has estimated that 17,676 doses of the contaminated steroid were shipped to the 23 states.
The New England Compounding Center is responsible for the distribution and preparation of the contaminated steroid injection. On September 25, 2012, the company issued a nationwide recall of the following contaminated medications:
- Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #05212012@68, BUD 11/17/2012
- Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #06292012@26, BUD 12/26/2012
- Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #08102012@51, BUD 2/6/2013
Within the next few days, as these medications were being recalled, the New England Compounding Center released another recall on October 6, 2012 to account for all products compounded in the facility. The fungal meningitis outbreaks stem from the presence of the fungus Exserohilum, which caused the death of 10 people so far. In addition, the fungus Aspergillus was found to be the cause of death in 1 patient as of recently released information.
North Carolina residents who have received epidural steroid injections to treat back pain and/or severe joint pain may have been exposed to a fungus causing fungal meningitis. If you or a loved one believes to have been exposed to this medication, please seek medical attention immediately.
Lewis & Keller is preparing an investigation on the potential claims against the New England Compounding Center in regard to the dangerous contaminated medication shipped to health care facilities in North Carolina.
To learn more about your options, please complete a Free Case Evaluation on this page.
Fungal Meningitis Symptoms
Fungal meningitis is a serious health risk. As such, patients who have received an epidural steroid injection since May 21, 2012, or within the last 5 months, are instructed by the CDC to seek medical attention as soon as possible. According to a recent report from the Division of Healthcare Quality Control Promotion, the CDC believes that 90 percent of the at-risk patients have been informed of potential health hazards.
Clinicians and physicians had been instructed by the CDC to contact all patients, by phone or in person, who have received an epidural steroid injection at any time within that last 5 months. Fungal meningitis symptoms sometimes do not appear until about 1 to 4 weeks following a steroid injection. As such, patients must be on hyper alert if they have been amongst the 13,000 to receive this dangerous medication.
The following are some of the symptoms at-risk patients may feel, indicating the likelihood of developing fungal meningitis:
- Severe Headache
- Slurred Speech
- Stiff Neck
- Swelling, pain, or redness in the area on and surrounding the injection site
- Altered Mental State
- Numbness or Weakness
If you or a loved one has received an epidural steroid injection on or after May 21, 2012 and have begun to experience any of the above symptoms, you must seek care from a medical professional immediately. These symptoms will likely indicate the onset of fungal meningitis, which has taken the lives of 14 Americans thus far, with a case count reaching 170 in 23 states.
Lewis & Keller Class Action Assistance
The staff of Lewis & Keller is in the midst of an investigation of the potential claims regarding the recent fungal meningitis outbreak. We believe that the New England Compounding Center must be held liable for the damages and injuries that they cause innocent victims who underwent treatment using faulty medication.
The dangerous fungus was estimated to have infiltrated at least 50 vials within the compounding facility. North Carolina residents must act quickly in order to receive the medical care that they deserve. Fungal meningitis develops quickly and time can literally be the difference between life and death. Act now if you have received an epidural steroid injection within the past 5 months.
For more information about your current options, please fill out a Free Case Evaluation today.
It is likely we will associate another law firm with more experience in this particular practice area to assist us with the prosecution of your claim, all at no additional cost to you.