A recent meningitis outbreak stemming from a medical treatment designed to lessen back pain has infected as many as 300 people across at least 15 states.
Federal investigators have linked the outbreak to a particular steroid treatment that is injected directly into the spinal column of patients experiencing chronic back pain. The treatment itself is extremely common, with estimates of hundreds of thousands of patients receiving the injection each year.
The particular steroid being used in this case, known as preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate, comes from the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts, where three batches of steroids contaminated with an airborne fungus were sent to 75 different medical facilities in 23 different states, including California.
Since discovering the contamination, the drug compounding company has shut down its production and recalled all of its products and announced its full cooperation with the Department of Public Health to determine what may have caused the issue.
The particular type of meningitis that this infection is causing is a particularly rare one known as fungal meningitis, which is an infection that causes inflammation to the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, or meninges. Fortunately, the infection is not contagious, and cannot be transferred from person to person. An infection is only possible if it is injected into the central nervous system.
Symptoms of fungal meningitis include general weakness, worsened back pain, stiff necks, mild headaches, sensitivity to light, fever, and slurred speech. The onset of these symptoms can vary greatly, with some appears just days after infection, and others as many as 28 days later, meaning that many who have been affected may not yet know it.
Custom-mixed medications, such as those suspected to be involved in this outbreak, have become widely used throughout the medical community, despite their penitent for contamination when mixed in a non-sterile environment. By mixing drugs, companies like the New England Compounding Center are able to offer them to doctors and hospitals at a lower cost than the drug’s manufacturers themselves.
If you or someone you know has been infected by this outbreak, you should seek help. Our meningitis outbreak lawyers will walk you through your available options and carefully explain your legal rights. If you’ve undertaken this medical procedure and suffered damages because of it, you may be entitled to compensation to help repair those damages.
At AA Accident Attorneys, we can help guide you through this complicated process and get you the results you deserve. As always, we will not charge you anything for our services until we collect on your case. If we do not collect, then you do not owe us a thing. Call us today for a free evaluation and to learn about what we can do to help you!