As the result of contamination, four people are dead after getting steroid injections into their spinal cords. This outbreak of fungal meningitis has been linked to contaminated spinal steroid injections in 5 states; Virginia, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee. According to news sources, the infections were traced to steroid injections (methylprednisolone acetate) made by a single compounding pharmacy: The New England Compounding Center (NECC).
The clinics that gave the shots — a common treatment for inflammation-related back pain — have been calling patients to warn them they might be infected. How many patients are involved is not known. Patients getting the calls are being told to be on the lookout for the gradual onset of fungal meningitis symptoms:
- Headache, especially one that worsens
- Nausea, vomiting
- Sensitivity to light
- Stiff neck
- Slurred speech
- Unsteady gait
- Infrequent urination
- Changes in mental status and confusion
Only patients who got spinal injections of the tainted medication since July 1 are at risk. Those infected cannot spread the infection to others. Fortunately, the vast majority of patients who received the injections have shown no symptoms. If you or someone you know or care for has been harmed by tainted steroid injections and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.