We want to inform our clients about the risks of these dangerous infections. If you or a friend has received a steroid spinal injection between May 21, 2012 and September 24, 2012, please read the following. Other tainted steroid injections have been given in the joint to relieve pain also causing a fungal infection. Please read the following excerpts from the CDC:
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Fungal meningitis is rare and usually the result of spread of a fungus through blood to the spinal cord. Although anyone can get fungal meningitis, people with weak immune systems, like those with AIDS or cancer, are at higher risk.
Fungal meningitis is not contagious, which means it is not transmitted from person to person. Fungal meningitis can develop after a fungus spreads through the bloodstream from somewhere else in the body, as a result of the fungus being introduced directly into the central nervous system, or from an infected body site infection next to the central nervous system.
CDC is coordinating a multistate investigation of meningitis among patients who received epidural steroid injections (medication injected into the spine). In several patients, the meningitis was found to be caused by a fungus that is common in the environment but rarely causes meningitis. This form of meningitis is not contagious. The source of the fungus has not yet been identified, and the cause of infections in the other patients is still being assessed.
Surgical sites where injections were given:
- High Point Surgery, High Point, N.C.
- North Carolina Orthopedic Clinic, Durham, N.C.
- Surgery Center of Wilson, Wilson, N.C.
- Insight Imaging, Roanoke, VA
- New River Valley Surgery Center, Christiansburg, VA
Certain diseases, medications, and surgical procedures may weaken the immune system and increase your risk of getting fungal infection, which can lead to fungal meningitis.
Signs & Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of fungal meningitis may include the following and may show up several weeks after the injection:
- Stiff neck
- Nausea and vomiting
- Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
- Altered mental status
If meningitis is suspected, samples of blood or cerebrospinal fluid (near the spinal cord) are collected and sent to a laboratory for testing. Knowing the specific cause of meningitis is important because the severity of illness and the treatment will differ depending on the cause.
Fungal meningitis is treated with long courses of high dose antifungal medications, usually given through an IV line in the hospital. The length of treatment depends on the status of the immune system and the type of fungus that caused the infection. For people with immune systems that do not function well because of other conditions, like AIDS, diabetes, or cancer, treatment is often longer.
SEVERAL CLINICS ALSO USED THIS TAINTED STEROID INJECTION FOR JOINT PAIN. THIS CAN CAUSE A FUNGAL INFECTION IN THE JOINT.
These injections are also cause for concern. Please contact our office for further information.
Lewis & Keller 1-800-LAW-7777
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