Note: This outbreak is growing so fast that there are more cases and states almost each hour. We will try to update posts and provide as much information as possible. If you have additional information, we would appreciate your sending it to us here.
Cases of fungal meningitis and stroke have been associated with a steroid product made by a compounding pharmacy, New England Compounding Center (NECC), located in Framingham, Massachusetts. Our lawyers are investigating the evidence building against NECC that could be used in a lawsuit against the company and possibly others. Attorneys Fred Pritzker and David Szerlag are leading our Bad Bug Law Team, which has a national reputation for getting large recoveries for clients in cases like these. They recently won over $40,000,000 for clients injured by another medical product and $3,000,000 for a family in a wrongful death lawsuit. For help, you should contact Fred and David for a free consultation here.
We expect this outbreak to grow significantly, but to date there are 119 CDC-confirmed cases in 10 states: Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia. Most of the cases are patients who were administered a steroid injection at Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center in Nashville, TN.
At least 11 patients have died. We expect more deaths due to the location of the injection (the spine), which is leading to very quick infection of the meninges and meningitis. We are still looking into why patients are experiencing strokes and suspect that there may be more than one contaminant. So far Aspergillus fumigatus and Exserohilum, two kinds of fungus, have been positively identified in some of the meningitis victims.
In response to this outbreak, NECC has recalled all of its products, including the following steroid products associated with the outbreak:
- Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #[email protected], BUD 11/17/2012
- Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #[email protected], BUD 12/26/2012
- Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #[email protected], BUD 2/6/2013.
The FDA has also found a contaminant in an unopened vial of the recalled methylprednisolone acetate injection. Testing is being done on isolated collected from patients and samples of the steroid product. FDA has gone into the compounding facility owned by NECC to obtain additional product and environmental samples.
The recalled steroid products were distributed to clinics in the following states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, and West Virginia.
Our experience is that this outbreak will grow significantly over time. According to the CDC:
Infected patients have presented approximately 1 to 4 weeks following their injection with a variety of symptoms, including fever, new or worsening headache, nausea, and new neurological deficit (consistent with deep brain stroke). Some of these patients’ symptoms were very mild in nature. CSF obtained from these patients has typically shown elevated white cell count (with a predominance of neutrophils), low glucose, and elevated protein.