Update: Our Bad Bug Law Team won money for people sickened in the fungal infection outbreak discussed below. Contact our lawyers if
- you have been diagnosed with an infection and
- you believe it was caused by contaminated medication administered to you in an injection or IV.
Fungal Infection Outbreak
As of December 4, 2012, there are 541 CDC-confirmed fungal infection cases in the United States linked to methylprednisolone acetate (a steroid) used for pain injections that was made by New England Compounding Center (NECC). Of these, 363 patients have been diagnosed with fungal meningitis (as spinal infection of the meninges), 151 with another spinal fungal infection only, 8 with stroke not associated with meningitis and 17 with a joint infection. Some of the meningitis patients also had strokes and/or other spinal infections, so the total number of strokes and other spinal infections caused by the NECC steroid is higher. Other spinal infections confirmed by the CDC include:
- Epidural abscess (infection in the space between the bones of the spine and the lining membrane of the spinal cord);
- Phlegmon (inflammation of soft or connective tissue in the spine);
- Discitis (infection in the intervertebral disc space);
- Vertebral osteomyelitis (bone infection in the spine, often fatal); and
- Arachnoiditis (infection of the arachnoid, a nerve membrane).
These are all life threatening infections. Attorney Fred Pritzker and his Bad Bug Law Team are representing patients in several states just like you who contracted fungal infections from NECC drugs, they are also representing patients who had to have a spinal tap (lumbar puncture) to test for fungal infection. Fred has won many, many cases exactly like these, involving products contaminated with dangerous pathogens. In addition, he and his team recently won over $40,000,000 for clients injured by another medical product.
Most of the epidural abscess cases are in Michigan, which was hammered by this outbreak. The FDA has reported that the following Michigan clinics received the implicated NECC methylprednisolone acetate:
Michigan Neurosurgical Institute, Grand Blanc, MI
Michigan Pain Specialists, Brighton, MI
Neuromuscular & Rehabilitation, Traverse City, MI
Southeast Michigan Surgical Hospital, Warren, MI
Minnesota has two of the vertabral osteomyelitis cases. The Minnesota clinics that received the NECC steroid are all in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) area and include the following: Medical Advanced Pain Specialists (MAPS) in Edina, Fridley, Maple Grove and Shakopee and the Minnesota Surgery Center (MSC) in Edina and Maple Grove. Ohio has 19 fungal infection cases, 3 only a spinal infection other than meningitis:
- Clermont: 39-year-old male; 85-year-old male; 85-year-old female;
- Crawford County: 40-year-old female;
- Fairfield County: 43-year-old female;
- Franklin County: 31-year-old female; 44-year-old female;
- Hamilton County: 65-year-old male;
- Marion County: 45-year-old male; 47-year-old female; 50-year-old female; 55-year-old female; 62-year-old female;
- Morrow County: 39-year-old female; 58-year-old female (added 12/03/12);
- Union County: 39-year-old female;
- Warren County:52-year-old male; 56-year-old female; and
- Kentucky resident who received injection in Ohio: 55-year-old female.
The Ohio clinics that received the NECC steroid include the following: Back Pain Specialists, LLC, Marion, OH; Cincinnati Pain Management; Marion Pain Clinic; and Ortho-Spine Rehabilitation Center, Inc., Dublin, OH.
Indiana, which has had 6 deaths from NECC fungal meningitis, has 59 confirmed cases of NECC fungal infection, 50 of them meningitis and 8 of them other spinal infections. Indiana clinics and hospitals connected to this outbreak include the following:
- Ambulatory Care Center LLC, Evansville, IN;
- Fort Wayne Physical Medicine;
- OSMC Outpatient Surgery Center, Elkhart, IN;
- South Bend Clinic;
- Union Hospital, Terre Haute, IN; and
- Wellspring, Columbus, IN.
Fungi Mold (Fungus) Found in NECC Methylprednisolone Acetate
The CDC and FDA have confirmed the presence of a fungi mold (fungus) known as Exserohilum rostratum [JPG – 183 KB] in unopened vials of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate from two of three implicated lots (Lot #[email protected], BUD12/26/2012 and Lot #[email protected], BUD 2/6/2013). The laboratory confirmation further links steroid injections from these lots from NECC to the outbreak. Most of the victims of this outbreak were infected with Exserohilum rostratum. At least two of the victims, one represented by Attorney Fred Pritzker, were infected with a fungi mold known as Aspergillus fumigatus.
The evidence against NECC is solid. Fred and his team have filed the first of many lawsuits against NECC, and you can find help for you and your family here.