Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Update on Multistate Meningitis Outbreak

We talked earlier about healthcare-associated infections (HAI).  A prominent and dangerous HAI in the news is the multistate meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroid injections given to approximately 14,000 pain patients primarily throughout the northeast and southern United States.  A recent update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) brings disturbing advice to those affected by the contaminated drugs.

On December 20, the CDC issued a health update for clinicians treating patients who received injections of contaminated methylprednisolone acetate developed at the now-defunct Massachusetts pharmaceutical concern, the New England Compounding Center.

CDC officials urge doctors with at-risk patients to consider MRI scans for patients whose back pain remains — even if pain is not associated with new or debilitating symptoms.  Among the array of maladies caused by the contaminated steroid, physicians are seeing an upward trend in fungal abscesses in joints, at injection sites, and developing deep in spinal tissue.

At present, 656 people became ill after the injections and 39 have died.  Consider these points if you, or someone you know, received a contaminated injection:

  • Spinal infection may not be apparent and can mimic the same back pain for which injections were sought
  • Infections are dangerous, causing tissue, nerve and spinal damage and leading to meningitis if fungus proceeds through spinal membrane to the brain
  • Treatment for infection most often includes surgery and anti-fungal medications that carry troublesome side effects.

The story, and the damages, of this frightening chapter in American health history continue. Seek legal guidance from a Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. if you are a victim.