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Contaminated Steroid Injections Shipped to Multiple States, Including California, Linked to Infections, Deaths Nationwide

By Kelly Balamuth on October 9, 2012

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that a total of 105 individuals have a contracted a deadly form of meningitis due to a contaminated steroid injection, with eight fatalities occurring in multiple states. The New England Compounding Center (NECC), a Massachusetts-based specialty pharmacy, is responsible for producing the contaminated injection and has issued a voluntary recall of the three lots of the injectable steroid. The drug is a preservative-free steroid called methylprednisolone acetate typically used to treat pain and inflammation, and patients in nine different states contracted fungal meningitis after receiving the injection in their spine.

The NECC has also issued a recall for all of its products as a precaution, and though there are no indications that the pharmacy’s other items have been contaminated, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has asked consumers, clinics, and doctors to stop use of any NECC product. Health officials state that 76 medical facilities in 23 different states received the contaminated steroid injection, and an estimated 13,000 people may have been exposed to the contaminated lots of the epidural steroid. A complete list of facilities can be found by visiting this site: http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis-facilities-map.html.

The following are the California facilities: Cypress Surgery Center DBA in Visalia, Encino Outpatient SurgiCenter in Encino, Ukiah Valley Medical Center in Ukiah, and Universal Pain Management in Palmdale.

Cases of this fungal meningitis outbreak have been confirmed in Minnesota, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Indiana, with fatalities being reported in Virginia, Michigan, Maryland, and Tennessee. Symptoms of fungal meningitis are similar to other forms of meningitis and can include dizziness, confusion, fever, headache, and nausea. Any patient who received an injection from a facility beginning July 1 and experienced symptoms in the one to three weeks following the injection should seek medical care immediately.

At Balamuth Law, our Walnut Creek dangerous drugs lawyers understand the serious impact a defective drug can have on a patient’s health and wellbeing. As such, our skilled legal team is dedicated to protecting the rights of patient harmed as a result of a defective drug and will work to ensure negligent manufacturers are held accountable. To see how we can help you on the road to recovery, call (888) 254-1234 to discuss your case with us.

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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